Feinstein pushes for California secretary of state to replace Harris in Senate

Feinstein pushes for California secretary of state to replace Harris in Senate
© Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for LA Promise Fund

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinLawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Senate Democrats call on Biden to restore oversight of semiautomatic and sniper rifle exports Overnight Defense: Army moves to combat sexual crimes | Eight West Point cadets expelled | Democratic senators want to restrict F-35 sale to UAE MORE (D-Calif.) is pushing for California Secretary of State Alex PadillaAlex PadillaHispanic Caucus energized by first Biden meeting Against mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations MORE (D) to be tapped to replace Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisGOP sees immigration as path to regain power Senate confirms Gupta nomination in tight vote Earth Day 2021: New directions for US climate policy rhetoric MORE, the vice president-elect, as the Golden State's other senator.

"I know him. And my sense is that he's going to represent California very well. And he's someone I'd be very happy to work with and also bring Hispanic representation to the Senate for the first time," Feinstein said of Padilla, according to NBC News.

The senior California senator told NBC News that she has not personally discussed her preference for the seat with Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia reports 'sharp decline' in public school enrollment amid pandemic Governors call on Biden to back shift to zero-emission cars by 2035 NPR journalist discusses home affordability in California MORE (D), but said the suggestion is on his radar.


"He's aware of it," she told the network. "I haven't talked with him. We've communicated. Let's put it that way."

Padilla got his start in politics in the mid-1990s serving as a personal assistant to Feinstein. He would be the first Latino to represent California in the Senate.

Newsom has reportedly received numerous calls lobbying for various potential picks for the seat. Newsom said in November he has not yet decided on a time frame for the appointment.

“No timeline has been established. The process is just beginning to unfold,” Newsom said. “We are working through the cattle call of considerations related to what’s the profile, the right choice to replace Sen. Harris.”

Numerous Hispanic party leaders have also thrown their support behind the secretary of state, and the Latino Victory Fund super PAC has mounted a “Pick Padilla” campaign. Democratic Reps. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassTim Scott to deliver GOP response to Biden's speech to Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Chauvin conviction puts renewed focus on police reform New signs of progress emerge on police reform MORE and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeNew signs of progress emerge on police reform Progressive lawmaker to introduce bill seeking more oversight of Israel assistance Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  MORE are also reportedly on the shortlist, as is Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

“Secretary Padilla would be honored to serve as California's U.S. Senator, but is focused on ensuring every vote is counted and elections are certified in what was a historic voter turnout for the 2020 elections,” David Beltran, Padilla’s political adviser, told The Hill last month.