Sen. Dianne Feinstein publicly threw her weight behind California Secretary of State Alex Padilla filling fellow California Sen. Kamala Harris’ soon-to-be-vacant seat, signaling that Padilla remains a favorite of California’s Democratic establishment…
Sen. Dianne Feinstein publicly threw her weight behind California Secretary of State Alex Padilla filling fellow California Sen. Kamala Harris' soon-to-be-vacant seat, signaling that Padilla remains a favorite of California's Democratic establishment.
The jostling over the seat has intensified in recent weeks, as President-elect Joe Biden's victory has ensured Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint a replacement for Harris when she steps aside to take on vice presidential duties.
Padilla has long been perceived as the frontrunner, and Feinstein's imprimatur — first reported by HuffPost on Wednesday — lends additional momentum to his bid. The two elected officials have a longstanding relationship that stretches back to a young Padilla working for Feinstein in the Senate.
"I have given him my support. I did that quite a while ago. He worked for me at one point, so I know him," Feinstein said in an interview. "And my sense is that he’s going to represent California very well. He’s someone I would be very happy to work with, and also bring Hispanic representation to the Senate for the first time.”
Padilla sits at the top of Newsom's shortlist for multiple reasons. The Democrat is a longtime Newsom ally; he would make history by becoming California's first Latino senator, a fitting milestone for a state with an enormous Latino population; and he has raised his profile both in California and nationally through his work to expand voter registration and mail voting as California's top elections official.
Feinstein said that Newsom was "aware of" her support for Padilla.
Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2020/12/02/feinstein-backs-padilla-for-harris-seat-1339951