Alex Padilla picked to replace Kamala Harris as California senator

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Gavin Newsom nominated California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the United States Senate Tuesday.

Immediately following the announcement, Newsom tweeted a video of the moment he asked Padilla to fill the role. (See the video above.)

"I'm honored and I'm humbled," Padilla accepted tearfully. "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. That's why I try so hard to make sure that our democracy is as inclusive in California as we've built."

Padilla gained notoriety this year for overseeing the unprecedented presidential election during a pandemic. Before his role as Secretary of State, Padilla also served as a state senator and a city councilman in Los Angeles.

Padilla is also set to be the first Latino to represent the state in the Senate.

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"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," said Newsom in a press release. "Through his tenacity, integrity, smarts and grit, California is gaining a tested fighter in their corner who will be a fierce ally in D.C., lifting up our state's values and making sure we secure the critical resources to emerge stronger from this pandemic."

"I am honored and humbled by the trust placed in me by Governor Newsom, and I intend to work each and every day to honor that trust and deliver for all Californians," said Padilla. "From those struggling to make ends meet to the small businesses fighting to keep their doors open to the health care workers looking for relief, please know that I am going to the Senate to fight for you."

Padilla will take Harris' place in the Senate in January when she assumes the vice presidency.

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