Governor Gavin Newsom (D) selected on Tuesday his longtime political ally and current California secretary of state, Alex Padilla, to fill the U.S. Senate seat when Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris steps down next month.
“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.”
Padilla said he was “honored and humbled” by the appointment.
In a video released by Newsom’s office, Padilla teared up when Newsom asked him to go to Washington.
“Can you imagine what Mom would be thinking now as I ask you if you want to be the next U.S. Senator of the United States from the great state of California?” Newsom asked.
“Are you serious?” Padilla said, becoming visibly emotional.
“This is the ask, man,” Newsom said.