California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has been named by Governor Gavin Newsom to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate, making history as the first Latinx senator to represent the state. Padilla was first elected to public office at 26, when he joined the Los Angeles City Council, and went on to serve two terms in the state Senate, followed by two terms as the state’s secretary of state. “This is really a reflection of the historic importance of Latinos,” says Fernando Guerra, professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University. He is also the director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles.
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