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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 FeinsteinBottom line Trump vetoes bipartisan driftnet fishing bill Dumping Abraham Lincoln? A word of advice to the 'cancel culture' MORE (D-Calif.) is pushing for California Secretary of State Alex PadillaAlex PadillaNewsom taps Shirley Weber to serve as California secretary of state Newsom picks Padilla for California Senate seat Pressley urges Newsom to appoint a Black woman to Harris's seat MORE (D) to be tapped to replace Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Biden scolds Republicans for not wearing masks during Capitol attack Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs 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 governor calls in National Guard to secure state Capitol Mississippi runs out of coronavirus vaccine as state expands eligibility Overnight Health Care: US sets new record for daily COVID deaths with over 4,300 | Johnson & Johnson vaccine has promising immune response in early trial | In-person learning doesn't appear to drive COVID cases MORE (D), but said the suggestion is on his radar.

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"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 BassDemocrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Rep. Bass tweets photo of Trump in response to FBI call for information on rioters San Francisco mayor says Harris replacement pick 'a real blow to the African American community' MORE and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis 150 House Democrats support Biden push to reenter Iran nuclear deal San Francisco mayor says Harris replacement pick 'a real blow to the African American community' 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.