Padilla will make history as the first Latino to represent California in the U.S. Senate.
The choice isn’t a surprise, thanks to Padilla’s close ties to Newsom.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has chosen the state’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve in the U.S. Senate in the seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (right) tweeted out the video of the call he made to Alex Padilla (left) asking him if he would serve in the U.S. Senate
‘The son of Mexican immigrants – a cook and house cleaner – Alex Padilla worked his way from humble beginnings to the halls of MIT, the Los Angeles City Council and the State Senate, and has become a national defender of voting rights as California’s Secretary of State,’ Newsom said in a statement. ‘Now, he will serve in the halls of our nation’s Capitol as California’s next United States Senator.’
Newsom’s office also released video of the state’s Democratic governor asking Padilla if he wants the job.
On a video call, Newsom makes small talk with Padilla and then brings up the official’s late mother, who immigrated to Los Angeles, California from Mexico.
‘Can you imagine what they, what mom, would be thinking now as I ask you if you want to be the next senator of the United States from the great state of California?’ Newsom said.
Padilla took a second to react and then said, ‘You serious?’
‘This is the official – this is the ask, brother,’ Newsom replied.
Padilla took several more seconds to take it in, bobbing his head in understanding.
‘I’m honored man. And I’m humbled. Because of them. I can’t tell you how many pancakes my dad flipped or eggs he scrambled trying to provide for us or the many, many years of my mom cleaning houses, doing the same thing,’ Padilla said.
He said his upbringing influenced his push to expand voter access.
‘That’s why I try so hard to make sure that our democracy is as inclusive as California as we’ve built,’ he continued. ‘And it’s a hell of an important perspective to to bring to Washington.’
Newsom replied that Padilla would have that chance.
‘You gotta say yes though man,’ Newsom said.
‘Absolutely,’ Padilla answered, adding that he was ‘ready’ for the challenge.