Gavin Newsom Selects Alex Padilla to Replace Kamala Harris as California’s Senator
The wait is over.
California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to be the Senator who will replace Kamala Harris, the presumptive Vice President Elect.
Political activist groups such as Latino Decisions praised the nomination of Padilla to the Senate, making him the state’s first Latino Senator in its history. In an article by Anais Lopez, Padilla was portrayed as “an offspring of California’s Proposition 187, a watershed moment for Latino politics, and the first modern shot against undocumented immigrants.”
During an interview with NBCNews Latino, Padilla stated, “Demographics already were what they were [in 1994], but Proposition 187 encouraged people like my parents who had been here for years and years as legal permanent residents to finally begin the naturalization process to become citizens to not only protect themselves and their families but to vote to not be scapegoated again.”
Padilla served in the California State Senate from 2006 to 2014 and then Secretary of State from 2014 until the present.
According to Lopez, “Padilla’s appointment now makes him the fourth Mexican-American US Senator in the last 20 years, with Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada now in office, and Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico elected to US Senate this year. Ken Salazar of Colorado served from 2005 until 2009 until he was appointed Secretary of Interior by President Obama.”
Padlla’s appointment likely represents a calculated move on the Democrats’ part. There was speculation that Barbara Lee and Karen Baren Bass were replacement candidates being considered for Harris’ spot. A number of journalists were demanding that the replacement be a minority and preferably a woman. However, due to Trump’s improvements with Hispanics nationwide, California Democrats felt it necessary to find a qualified Hispanic replacement for Harris. And Padilla fits the bill.
The modern-day Democratic Party is obsessed with identity politics and political correctness. Padilla will likely be a loyal footsoldier for those causes in a modern-day Democrat party that is fixated on race and divisive politics.