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February 4, 2021

Gavin Newsom names California’s first Latino U.S. senator to replace Kamala Harris

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ successor in the U.S. Senate, making him the first Latino from California to fill the role in the state’s 170-year history.

Newsom’s historic appointment comes after a coalition of Latino progressive groups pressed for Newsom to appoint Padilla, or another Latino, to represent California, where Latinos make up 40% of the population. “Through his tenacity, integrity, smarts and grit, California is gaining a tested fighter in their corner who will be a fierce ally in D.C., lifting up our state’s values and making sure we secure the critical resources to emerge stronger from this pandemic,” Newsom said in a statement. “He will be a Senator for all Californians.” Read more