Alex Padilla Could Become California’s First Latino Senator

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Photo courtesy of NBC.

For weeks now, the California governor has been under immense pressure from organizations and political figures nationwide to make a decision that could change history.

Once Kamala Harris became the vice president-elect with the Biden campaign’s victory, her seat in the California Senate is open for grasps.

For many, it is time for a Latino to take the seat.

While the decision was initially scheduled to be made between Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla, along with other candidates, the announcement by Team Biden to nominate Becerra to the Health Department in the new administration leaves the field open for Padilla to become the new California Senator.

However, as CBS San Francisco explained, the decision is not that simple.

“It’s certainly an opportunity for Gov. Newsom to leave a lasting mark on a couple of very influential offices,” said Brian Brokaw, a Democratic strategist, and Newsom adviser. But, he added, “you have a chance to make two friends, and you have a chance to disappoint who you don’t ultimately select.”

In choosing new successors, Newsom will likely look for someone who represents California’s diversity, shares its governing philosophy, and can win re-election in 2022, the same year Newsom will run for a new term, the media added.

Mindy Romero, director of USC’s Center for Inclusive Democracy, sees it as an unenviable position.

“He knows that he is going to make a lot of people unhappy,” she said.

Dianne Feinstein, one of the heavyweights in the Senate, publicly supported Padilla, which would give an additional boost to his candidacy.

According to Politico, the two elected officials have a long relationship dating back to a young Padilla who worked for Feinstein in the Senate.

“I have given him my support. I did that quite a while ago. He worked for me at one point, so I know him,” Feinstein said in an interview. “And my sense is that he’s going to represent California very well. He’s someone I would be very happy to work with and also bring Hispanic representation to the Senate for the first time.”