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Top Latina White House aide lands Senate job

Top Latina White House aide lands Senate job
© WhiteHouse.gov

A top aide to President Obama who is in charge of minority engagement for the White House was picked by Senator-elect Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to lead her operations in California.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the granddaughter of famed civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, will serve as Harris's state director, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Chavez oversaw engagement with LGBT, Asian-American and Pacific Islander, Latino, veteran, youth, education, labor and progressive leaders, according to the White House website.

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"In this moment so many of our communities feel threatened and uncertain about the future, I’m proud that Julie will help me empower and protect California's families and give voice to our vulnerable communities,” Harris said in a statement.

Harris won the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerTrump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Questions and answers about the Electoral College challenges MORE (D-Calif.) in a Democrat-on-Democrat battle against outgoing Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.). Under California's jungle primary system, the two top vote-getters in primaries compete against each other in the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

The Senate race caused some friction between Hispanic Democrats and the party at large, with national leaders like Obama and Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Fauci infuriated by threats to family MORE endorsing Harris against her fellow Democrat.

Harris, the outgoing California attorney general, is seen as a potential presidential contender for 2020. She was the first woman, first African-American and first Indian-American to occupy the position.

She will be replaced by Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraSenate chaos threatens to slow Biden's agenda OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court strikes down Trump coal power plant rule | Green groups sue after Trump administration strips bird protections | Trump administration rushes to wrap Arctic oil leases on last day in office 15 states sue EPA over decision not to tighten pollution standard for smog MORE (D-Calif.), who was recently appointed California attorney general by Gov. Jerry Brown (D).