VP-Elect Harris Resigns Senate Seat, Newsom Appoints Padilla

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday formally submitted her letter of resignation as senator from California to Gov. Gavin Newsom, CNN reported.

In commentary for the San Francisco Chronicle, she wrote “serving as your senator has been an honor.”

Harris won’t give a farewell speech on the Senate floor, since the upper chamber isn’t scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, the eve of Inauguration Day.

“As I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it,” she wrote in the commentary. “Thus, as I leave the United States Senate, this is not goodbye. This is hello.”

With Harris’ resignation, Newsom is expected to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 02: Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during the 2020 Gun Safety Forum hosted by gun control activist groups Giffords and March for Our Lives at Enclave on October 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nine Democratic candidates are taking part in the forum to address gun violence one day after the second anniversary of the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas when a gunman killed 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


Harris is the first woman ever elected vice president — and the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent to serve in that office. But her Senate departure leaves the chamber’s roster without a Black woman. Harris was just the second Black female senator, winning her California election 17 years after Democrat Carol Moseley Braun finished a single term representing Illinois.

Governor Newsom Formally Appoints Alex Padilla to the U.S. Senate and Nominates Dr. Shirley Weber as Secretary of State

Action follows the morning resignation of Kamala Harris from the United States Senate as she prepares to be inaugurated Vice President of the United States on Wednesday

Alex Padilla also this morning resigned his position as California Secretary of State, making his Chief Deputy Secretary of State Acting Secretary of State until the Legislature acts on Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber’s nomination

The Governor formally submits his nomination letter for Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber to the State Senate President pro Tempore and Assembly Speaker to serve as California’s next Secretary of State

SACRAMENTO – As Americans celebrate the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work to expand voting rights and representation, Governor Gavin Newsom today formally submitted the appointment of Alex Padilla to become California’s first Latino U.S. Senator and the nomination of Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber to become the state’s first African American Secretary of State. The announcement comes as Kamala Harris formally resigned her position as U.S. Senator this morning as she prepares to make history by becoming the first African American and woman to become Vice President of the United States when she is inaugurated alongside President-elect Joe Biden Wednesday.

Alex Padilla also formally resigned this morning as Secretary of State, making James Schwab, current Chief Deputy Secretary of State, the Acting Secretary of State in California in accordance with state law.

The Governor this morning formally submitted a letter to Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon nominating Dr. Shirley Weber to fill the Secretary of State vacancy. The Legislature will have 90 days to vote on Dr. Weber’s confirmation.

“It is fitting that on the same day we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — a civil rights icon who fought for justice and representation — we also move forward the appointment of California’s first Latino U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and the nomination of Dr. Shirley Weber who will serve as the first-ever African American Secretary of State. Both will be strong defenders of our democracy during this fragile moment in our nation’s history,” said Governor Newsom. “These appointments are only possible because of the trailblazing leadership of my dear friend and California’s own Kamala Harris, who will move on from the Senate to make history by becoming the first African American and woman to serve as Vice President of the United States. This is a proud day for California.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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