Alex Padilla

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Alex Padilla
Padilla in 2021
United States Senator
from California
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
Serving with Dianne Feinstein
Appointed byGavin Newsom
Preceded byKamala Harris
32nd Secretary of State of California
In office
January 5, 2015 – January 18, 2021
GovernorJerry Brown
Gavin Newsom
Preceded byDebra Bowen
Succeeded byJames Schwab (acting)
Member of the California State Senate
from the 20th district
In office
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2014
Preceded byRichard Alarcon
Succeeded byConnie Leyva
President of the Los Angeles City Council
In office
July 4, 2001 – January 1, 2006
Preceded byRuth Galanter
Succeeded byEric Garcetti
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 7th district
In office
July 1, 1999 – December 4, 2006
Preceded byRichard Alarcon
Succeeded byRichard Alarcon
Personal details
Born (1973-03-22) March 22, 1973 (age 48)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Angela Monzon
Template:Str ≥ len
(m. 2012)
Children3
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)
WebsiteSenate website

Alejandro Padilla (/pəˈdə/ pə-DEE; born March 22, 1973) is an American politician serving as the junior United States senator from California since 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, Padilla previously served as the 32nd secretary of state of California from 2015 to 2021.[1]

Padilla served more than seven years on the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 7th district. First elected in 1999, he was President of the Los Angeles City Council from 2001 to 2006. He then served in the California State Senate for the 20th district from 2006 to 2014.

On December 22, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Padilla to succeed Kamala Harris in the Senate, after Harris was elected as Vice President of the United States; Padilla was sworn in by Vice President Harris on January 20, 2021. He is the first Mexican American and Hispanic senator from California, the first senator from Southern California since 1992, and the first male senator to represent the state since 1993.[2]

Early life and education[edit source | edit]

Padilla is one of three children of Santos and Lupe Padilla, both of whom emigrated from Mexico, specifically from Jalisco and Chihuahua, before meeting and marrying in Los Angeles.[3][4] He grew up in Pacoima, Los Angeles, and graduated from San Fernando High School in the northeast San Fernando Valley.[5] He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1994.[6] He graduated from the Coro Fellows Southern California Program in 1995.

Career[edit source | edit]

Early career[edit source | edit]

After graduation, he moved back to Pacoima and briefly worked as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft, where he wrote software for satellite systems.[7][8][9]

Padilla is a former member of the governing board of MIT and president of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), which has a membership of more than 6,000 Latino U.S. officials.[10][better source needed] He serves as chair of the Los Angeles Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association.[10][better source needed]

Padilla began in politics as a member of the Democratic Party in 1995, in substantial part in response to California Proposition 187, which excluded illegal immigrants from all non-emergency public services, including public education, but which he felt was motivated by a broader nativism that demonized legal and illegal immigrants alike.[11] His first professional role was as a personal assistant to Senator Dianne Feinstein. He then served as a campaign manager for Assemblyman Tony Cardenas in 1996, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo in 1997, and State Senator Richard Alarcon in 1998, all Democrats. All won their respective elections.[10][better source needed]

Los Angeles City Council[edit source | edit]

On July 1, 1999, at age 26, Padilla was sworn in as a member of the Los Angeles City Council.[12] Two years later, his colleagues elected him council president. Padilla was the first Latino and the youngest person elected president of the Los Angeles City Council.[10][better source needed]

During his term as City Council president, Padilla also was elected president of the California League of Cities, the first Latino to serve in that position.[10][better source needed]

California State Senate[edit source | edit]

After retiring as president of the Los Angeles City Council, Padilla was elected to the State Senate in 2006, defeating Libertarian Pamela Brown. He was reelected in 2010 with nearly 70% of the vote over Republican Kathleen Evans.[13][better source needed] Padilla served as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Business and Professions and Economic Development Committee, Governmental Organization Committee, Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, and chaired the Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Public Policy. He left office on November 30, 2014, after two terms.[14]

In August 2012, Padilla was included in a list of 20 Latino political rising stars compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle, citing his role in the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.[15]

In September 2014, Padilla promoted what would later become Proposition 67, a proposed ban on plastic bags.[16][better source needed] On November 8, 2016, when Padilla was Secretary of State, the proposal was voted on in a referendum, and the option in favor of the ban on the plastics bags received 66% of the vote.[17]

Secretary of State[edit source | edit]

Secretary of State Alex Padilla speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention.

On April 11, 2013,[18] Padilla announced his intention to run for secretary of state in 2014, to succeed the term-limited Debra Bowen. He was expected to face an intraparty battle with fellow Democrat Leland Yee, but Yee's arrest for felony racketeering caused Yee to abandon the race.[19] Padilla won the election on November 4, 2014, with 53.6% of the vote, defeating Republican Pete Peterson.[20]

On June 29, 2017, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which President Donald Trump created on May 11, requested data on enrolled voters from every state, dating back to 2006. Padilla said that California would not supply the data.[21][22]

On November 6, 2018, Padilla was reelected with 64.5% of the vote, defeating Republican Mark P. Meuser.[23]

On October 16, 2020, Padilla was involved in a controversy between the state and the California Republican Party, as the party deployed unofficial ballot boxes in which party members deposited their voting papers, to be delivered to the polling stations on the corresponding day.[24][25][26] Padilla ordered the ballot boxes removed, arguing that the electoral authority will only receive ballots delivered personally and voluntarily by the voter and that the Republicans' action was illegal, generating rejection among the local GOP leadership.[24][25][27]

Upon Padilla's appointment to the U.S. Senate, Newsom appointed Assemblywoman Shirley Weber to succeed him.

U.S. Senate[edit source | edit]

Appointment[edit source | edit]

In August 2020, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. After they won the general election, Padilla was mentioned as a possible choice as Harris's replacement in the Senate.[28][29][30][31] In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he would appoint Padilla to the seat, making him California's first Hispanic senator.[32] During the speculation about whom Newsom would select, the senior senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, supported Padilla.[33][34]

Most Latinos, who are 40% of California's population, supported Padilla's appointment,[35] but some Black leaders criticized it. San Francisco mayor London Breed called Padilla's appointment "a real blow to the African American community".[35]

Tenure[edit source | edit]

On January 20, 2021, Padilla was sworn into the United States Senate in the 117th Congress by Vice President Kamala Harris, his predecessor, becoming the first Latino to represent California in the U.S. Senate.

Committees[edit source | edit]

Caucuses[edit source | edit]

Political positions[edit source | edit]

The Wall Street Journal says that Padilla has "a reputation as a business-friendly moderate."[36] FiveThirtyEight defined him as a technocrat, not identified with either the progressive or the moderate wing of the party.[37] The American Conservative Union gave Padilla a 0% rating in 2012.[38]

Abortion[edit source | edit]

Padilla has indicated that he is pro-choice, stating in 2018 that women's right to abort "is not negotiable.".[39] In 2018, after winning the primary for secretary of state to seek a second term, he received the support of the pro-abortion organization NARAL Pro-Choice America, organization that called Padilla a "statewide reproductive freedom champion and looks forward to continuing the fight for women’s rights".[40] In 2008, Padilla sponsored the bill SB 1770, which would require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) to prepare relevant guidelines and mechanisms for the investigation and reporting of "cases involving anti-reproductive rights crimes".[41][42]

Immigration[edit source | edit]

Padilla has been a supporter of the immigrants' rights.[43][44] Shortly before he was sworn in as a senator, on January 15, 2021, he stated that he supports legislation sponsored by representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) that will speed up the citizenship process for illegal immigrants in essential jobs declaring that because of the work they do "they deserve stability."[43][44]

Electoral history[edit source | edit]

State Senator[edit source | edit]

2006[edit source | edit]

California State Senate 20th District Democratic Primary Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Alex Padilla 24,303 55.8
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Cindy Montanez 19,299 44.2
Template:Election box hold with party link no change
California's 20th State Senate district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Alex Padilla 84,459 74.85
style="background-color: Template:Libertarian Party of California/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Libertarian Party of California|Template:Libertarian Party of California/meta/shortname]] Pamela Brown 28,377 25.15
Total votes 112,836 100.00

2010[edit source | edit]

Template:Election box hold with party link no change
California's 20th State Senate district election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Alex Padilla (incumbent) 94,356 68.4
style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] Kathleen "Suzy" Evans 37,420 27.1
style="background-color: Template:Libertarian Party of California/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Libertarian Party of California|Template:Libertarian Party of California/meta/shortname]] Adrian Galysh 6,245 4.5
Total votes 138,051 100.0

Secretary of State[edit source | edit]

2014[edit source | edit]

California Secretary of State primary election, 2014[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Alex Padilla 1,217,371 30.24
style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] Pete Peterson 1,194,715 29.68
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Leland Yee 380,361 9.45
style="background-color: Template:No party preference/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[No party preference|Template:No party preference/meta/shortname]] Daniel Schnur 369,898 9.19
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Derek Cressman 306,375 7.61
style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] Roy Allmond 256,668 6.38
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Jeffrey H. Drobman 178,521 4.44
style="background-color: Template:Green Party of California/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Green Party of California|Template:Green Party of California/meta/shortname]] David S. Curtis 121,618 3.02
Total votes 4,025,527 100
Turnout   13.63
Template:Election box hold with party link no swing
California Secretary of State general election, 2014[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Alex Padilla 3,799,711 53.63
Republican Pete Peterson 3,285,334 46.37
Total votes 7,085,045 100

2018[edit source | edit]

California Secretary of State primary election, 2018[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Alex Padilla (incumbent) 3,475,633 52.6
style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] Mark P. Meuser 2,047,903 31.0
style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] Ruben Major 355,036 5.4
style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] Raul Rodriguez Jr. 330,460 5.0
style="background-color: Template:Libertarian Party of California/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Libertarian Party of California|Template:Libertarian Party of California/meta/shortname]] Gail Lightfoot 155,879 2.4
style="background-color: Template:Green Party of California/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Green Party of California|Template:Green Party of California/meta/shortname]] Michael Feinstein 136,725 2.1
style="background-color: Template:Peace and Freedom Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Peace and Freedom Party|Template:Peace and Freedom Party/meta/shortname]] C.T. Weber 61,375 0.9
style="background-color: Template:Green Party of California/meta/color; width: 2px;" | [[Green Party of California|Template:Green Party of California/meta/shortname]] Erik Rydberg 48,705 0.7
Total votes 6,611,716 100.0
Template:Election box hold with party link no swing
California Secretary of State general election, 2018[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
style="background-color: Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/color; width: 5px;" | [[Democratic Party (United States)|Template:Democratic Party (United States)/meta/shortname]] Alex Padilla (incumbent) 7,909,521 64.45
Republican Mark P. Meuser 4,362,545 35.55
Total votes 12,272,066 100

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "AP21:003 :: California Secretary of State". sos.ca.gov. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  2. Hubler, Shawn; Burns, Alexander (November 29, 2020). "One Seat, Competing Pressures as Newsom Considers Senate Pick". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  3. Hubler, Shawn (December 22, 2020). "Alex Padilla Will Replace Kamala Harris in the Senate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  4. Hymon, Steve (May 7, 2006). "Sons Live Out a Dream". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  5. Roderick, Kevin (July 2002). "Power Play in East Valley". Los Angeles Magazine. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  6. Benefiel, Anna K. (August 4, 1999). "Recent MIT Graduate Elected to Los Angeles City Council". The Tech. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  7. Downing, Eve (Winter 2000). "Coming Home". MIT Spectrum. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  8. Whitaker, Barbara (July 7, 2001). "Public Lives; A Quick Climb Up the Los Angeles Political Ladder". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  9. Fox, Sue (July 4, 2001). "Former Engineer Rocketed to the Top". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 "Ca - Officials". allgov.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  11. Shafer, Scott; Lagos, Marisa (December 23, 2020). "Political Breakdown Special: Alex Padilla is California's Next U.S. Senator". Political Breakdown. KQED. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  12. "Padilla Becomes L.A.'s Youngest Councilman". Los Angeles Times. latimes.com. July 7, 1999. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  13. "Alex Padilla". Ballotpedia. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  14. "About Alex Padilla :: California Secretary of State". sos.ca.gov. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  15. Dunham, Richard (August 25, 2012). "20 Latino political rising stars of 2012". Politics Blog, San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  16. "California to Become First State to Ban the Bag". Plastic Pollution Coalition. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  17. "California Phases Out Plastic Bags, Promotes Reusables Ahead of the Biggest Grocery Shopping Day of the Year". Californians Against Waste. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  18. McGreevy, Patrick (April 11, 2013). "Sen. Alex Padilla announces run for California secretary of state". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  19. Former Sen. Yee changes plea to guilty Archived August 13, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, San Francisco Chronicle, July 1, 2015.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Statement of Vote November 4, 2014, General Election" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 14, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  21. "How California lawmakers have tried and failed to fix the state's housing crisis". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  22. "Secretary of State Alex Padilla Responds to Presidential Election Commission Request for Personal Data of California Voters". Secretary of State of California. June 29, 2017. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  23. "Secretary of State - Statewide Results". Secretary of State of California. November 6, 2018. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Dispute Over Unofficial Ballot Boxes Continues in California". spectrumnews1.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "State GOP Says It Will Not Remove Unofficial Ballot Drop Boxes". October 16, 2020. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  26. "Padilla: Unofficial ballot drop boxes are against California law". sports.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  27. "California Republicans refuse to move fake ballot drop boxes". The Independent. October 15, 2020. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  28. Barrón-López, Laura. "Latino Victory backs Alex Padilla for possible appointment to Harris' Senate seat". Politico. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  29. "One of these people could be Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' successor and California's next senator". Los Angeles Times. November 7, 2020. Archived from the original on December 7, 2020. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  30. Ting, Eric (November 7, 2020). "What happens to Kamala Harris' Senate seat now that she's vice president-elect?". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  31. "Promueven al latino Alex Padilla para ocupar curul de Kamala Harris en Senado". EFE (in Spanish). August 26, 2020. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  32. Hubler, Shawn (December 22, 2020). "Alex Padilla Will Replace Kamala Harris in the Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. "Feinstein backs Padilla". NBC News. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  34. Kapur, Sahil. "Dianne Feinstein wants Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris in Senate". NBC News. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Blood, Michael R. (December 22, 2020). "California gets Latino US senator, some Black leaders angry". AP News. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  36. Andrews, Christine Mai-Duc and Natalie (December 22, 2020). "California Governor Picks Alex Padilla to Fill Harris's Senate Seat". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  37. Rakich, Nathaniel (December 22, 2020). "California's New Senator Will Make History. But Can He Win A Full Term In 2022?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  38. "2012 State Legislative Ratings" (PDF). American Conservative Union. 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  39. "Alex Padilla on Twitter: A woman's right to choose what happens to her own body is not negotiable. #NoAbortionBan". Twitter. January 28, 2018.
  40. "NARAL Pro-Choice America Congratulates Endorsed Candidates in California on Primary Victories". NARAL Pro-Choice America. June 6, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  41. Simmons, Christopher (January 6, 2014). "Calif. Senator Alex Padilla Highlights 2013 Legislative Accomplishments - Begins Final Year in State Senate". California Newswire. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  42. "Bill Text - SB-1770 Anti-reproductive-rights crime". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  43. 43.0 43.1 "Padilla backs legislation to fast-track citizenship for undocumented essential workers". FOX40. January 16, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  44. 44.0 44.1 EST, Adrian Carrasquillo On 1/19/21 at 5:35 PM (January 19, 2021). "Incoming Senator Alex Padilla looks to lead on immigration, targets Cruz, Hawley". Newsweek. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  45. "Statement of Vote June 3, 2014, Statewide Direct Primary Election" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 4, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  46. "Statement of Vote" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  47. "Secretary of State - Statewide Results". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit source | edit]

Template:CongLinks

Civic offices
Preceded by
Richard Alarcon
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 7th district

2000–2006
Succeeded by
Richard Alarcon
Preceded by
Ruth Galanter
President of the Los Angeles City Council
2001–2006
Succeeded by
Eric Garcetti
Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
Richard Alarcon
Member of the California Senate
from the 20th district

2006–2015
Succeeded by
Connie Leyva
Political offices
Preceded by
Debra Bowen
Secretary of State of California
2015–2021
Succeeded by
James Schwab
Acting
Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from California
January 20, 2021–present
Served alongside: Dianne Feinstein
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tommy Tuberville
United States Senators by seniority
98th
Succeeded by
Jon Ossoff

Template:LACCPresidents Template:Current U.S. Senators Template:Current California statewide political officials Template:USSenCA Template:California Democratic Party Template:USCongRep-start Template:USCongRep/CA/117 Template:USCongRep-end

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