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California Secretary of State Alex Padilla selected to fill Kamala Harris' Senate seat

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Tuesday that he has selected California's Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) to fill the U.S. Senate seat left open by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla will serve out the two remaining years of Harris' term after she's sworn in as vice president in January.

Newsom heaped praise on Padilla, a former Los Angeles city council member and state senator, in his announcement. "Through his tenacity, integrity, smarts, and grit, California is getting a tested fighter in their corner who will be a fierce ally in D.C.," he said.

Padilla emerged as the frontrunner for the spot recently, especially after President-elect Joe Biden nominated California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as his administration's health and human services secretary, The Sacramento Bee notes. He'll be the first Latino from California, where Latinos make up 40 percent of the population, to serve in the U.S. Senate. Read more at The Sacramento Bee.