California’s Kamala Harris resigned as a U.S. senator and Alex Padilla as Secretary of State on Monday in preparation for their new roles in Washington later this week.
Harris sent her letter of resignation to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday, and wrote in a newspaper op-ed, “Serving as California’s senator has been an honor. But this is not a goodbye.”
She will be sworn in as Vice President on Wednesday and face an expanded role because the Senate will be evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, leaving her to cast the deciding vote.
Padilla was formally appointed by Newsom in December to fill the Senate seat vacated by Harris.
“As I prepare to enter the United States Senate, I will carry on the mission of building a more inclusive democracy and economy for all,” said Padilla, who will be the first Latino senator from California.
Padilla, 47, has been secretary of state since 2015. Prior to that, he served in the state Senate representing the 20th District in Los Angeles County, and spent more than seven years on the Los Angeles City Council.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering, Padilla worked for Hughes Aircraft before turning to politics. Padilla was raised in the Pacoima area and lives with his wife and three sons in the San Fernando Valley.
Newsom nominated Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego to take over as secretary of state. If confirmed by the Legislature, Weber will be the first Black woman to hold that position.
Padilla’s deputy secretary of state, James Schwab, will fill serve in the role pending Weber’s confirmation.