Alex Padilla, Tapped to Fill Kamala Harris's Senate Seat, Will Be California's First Latino Senator

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has been selected to replace the seat vacated by incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, the state’s governor Gavin Newsom announced on December 22.

Since election day, there has been wide speculation about who Newsom would pick to take Harris’s seat. Padilla, the son of Mexican immigrants, will be the state’s first Latino senator.

“You serious?,” he asked Newsom when the governor told him he’d been picked.

“I’m honored, man,” said Padilla, tearing up. “And I’m humbled.”

“I 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,” he said of his parents.

Representative Barbara Lee, seen as another potential replacement, tweeted her congratulations after the announcement. Credit: Gavin Newsom via Storyful