SACRAMENTO–As Americans celebrate the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work to expand voting rights and representation, Governor Gavin Newsom Monday formally submitted the appointment of Alex Padilla to become California’s first Latino U.S. Senator and the nomination of Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber to become the state’s first African American Secretary of State.
The announcement comes as Kamala Harris formally resigned her position as U.S. Senator th morning as she prepares to make history by becoming the first African-Asian American and woman to become Vice President of the United States when she is inaugurated alongside President-elect Joe Biden Wednesday afternoon.
Alex Padilla also formally resigned Monday as Secretary of State, making James Schwab, current Chief Deputy Secretary of State, the Acting Secretary of State in California in accordance with state law.
Newsom formally submitted a letter to Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon nominating Dr. Shirley Weber to fill the Secretary of State vacancy. The Legislature will have 90 days to vote on Dr. Weber’s confirmation.
“It is fitting that on the same day we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — a civil rights icon who fought for justice and representation — we also move forward the appointment of California’s first Latino U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and the nomination of Dr. Shirley Weber who will serve as the first-ever African American Secretary of State. Both will be strong defenders of our democracy during this fragile moment in our nation’s history,” said Governor Newsom. “These appointments are only possible because of the trailblazing leadership of my dear friend and California’s own Kamala Harris, who will move on from the Senate to make history by becoming the first African American and woman to serve as Vice President of the United States. This is a proud day for California.”
Harris will be officially sworn-in as Vice President on Inauguration Day on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.