The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has appointed Alex Padilla to replace the Vice President elect, Kamala Harris, in her seat in the US Senate. Newsom’s appointment will keep Padilla in that office through 2022. But if he wants to stay further, for a full six-year term in his own right, he will have to win the election in November of that year.
Padilla, the son of two immigrants from Mexico (specifically from the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Jalisco), earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.
In the early years of this millennium (2001 – 2005) he was the president of the Los Angeles City Council. Since then, he has served in the California State Senate and, most recently, as the state’s Secretary of State.
The Thing to Know:
A state’s Secretary of State is typically the official in charge of how that state administers its elections. During the 2020 election season, the Republican Party sought to collect pre-election ballots through its own unofficial ballot boxes. Padilla received a brief burst of national attention in October when he denounced this practice as illegal and ordered the removal of those boxes.