Padilla’s appointment is a historic milestone. He will be the first Latino in California’s history to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.
In August, Latino Victory Fund launched “Pick Padilla,” an initiative to mobilize support for Secretary Padilla.
Washington, D.C. – Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his intent to appoint Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla will be the first Latino to represent California in the United States Senate.
“We congratulate Secretary Padilla on his appointment to the United States Senate. This marks a long-overdue milestone for the Latino community, and it’s a bold step towards having a Senate that looks like the communities it serves,” said Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund president & CEO. “His appointment will not only increase Latino representation in the Senate, but it will also open the door for future generations of Latino leaders. With Secretary Padilla in the Senate, Californians will have a long-time champion for working families, a dedicated public servant, and an effective legislator to speak up on their behalf.”
Latino Victory Fund is immensely proud to be long-time supporters of Secretary Padilla. In August, we launched “Pick Padilla,” an initiative to urge Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint Secretary Alex Padilla to the U.S. Senate if Senator Kamala Harris’ seat became vacant. The campaign was launched with an initial five-figure digital ad buy that calls on Californians to support Padilla’s appointment and it ran in key markets through Election Day. The ‘Pick Padilla‘ initiative aimed to galvanize support for Secretary Padilla, touting his experience and qualifications as an elected official and his compelling life story as the son of Mexican immigrants.
Secretary Padilla will become the 11th Latino to serve in the United States Senate. Alongside Senator-elect Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Secretary Padilla will grow the current number of Latinos in the U.S. Senate from 4 to 6. Secretary Padilla has already broken barriers: at 26, he was the youngest person and the first Latino elected president of the Los Angeles City Council and the first Latino California Secretary of State.
Meet Alex Padilla:
- The son of Mexican immigrants, Padilla was raised in the working-class community of Pacoima, California. His father worked as a short-order cook, and his mother cleaned houses.
- Padilla earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
- In 2006, Padilla was elected to the California State Senate, during which he focused his legislative work on health initiatives, education, climate change, and infrastructure.
- In 2015, Padilla was sworn in as the first Latino California Secretary of State. Throughout his tenure, he has worked to strengthen voter rights by increasing voter registration and participation.
Secretary Padilla is also the chairman of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State. He has led the organization in the fight against the Trump administration’s voter suppression that affects the Latino and Black communities.