The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

New Government with Alex Padilla

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A seismic shift in power is taking place in Washington, with the White House and both chambers of Congress soon to be under Democratic control. Alex Padilla, the current California Secretary of State, is poised to be sworn in to finish out the Senate term of Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris. Sen.-designate Padilla will join Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart to explain his views on the legacy of President Trump, his hopes for President-elect Joe Biden’s administration and how he plans to make his mark in Washington.

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Sen.-designate Alex Padilla said if there's a proposal to approve $2,000 in direct assistance to families, he'd vote for it "in a heartbeat," explaining "these aren't stimulus checks, they're basic survival checks." (Video: Washington Post Live)
Sen.-designate Alex Padilla said there's "no doubt" President Trump should be removed from office as soon as possible, imploring Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. "Come on Pence, invoke the 25th for the sake of the nation. If they fail to do so, then the House should move as quickly as possible." He added he believes Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley should resign for their roles in the riot at the Capitol. "The letter of the law is clear...You were either enabling it and complicit or you're not...It’s not just a knee-jerk reaction, it’s not just an opinion. The consequences of their actions for the last 4 years have been literally fatal." (Video: Washington Post Live)
When asked whether he would vote to add seats to the Supreme Court should a proposal come through to the Senate, Sen.-designate Alex Padilla said, “Expanding, balancing the Supreme Court, absolutely…It’s time to rebalance the Supreme Court. In terms of term limits, I’ll be honest, mixed feeling…The true independence of the judiciary is fundamental to the balance of powers.” He also said he's "supportive of Medicare for All and called the Green New Deal a "great model." (Video: Washington Post Live)
Sen.-designate Alex Padilla said he "absolutely" intends to run for a full term in 2022. “Yes, I do have big Chuck Taylors to fill…That's my commitment, to be in it for the long term, not just the two years ahead of me." (Video: Washington Post Live)

Alex Padilla

Alex Padilla was born March 22, 1973 at Kaiser Hospital in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. His parents met in 1968 as immigrants from Mexico. It was practically love at first sight and the young couple got married and applied for green cards in that order.

In 2001, Alex’s colleagues elected him the youngest Council President in Los Angeles history. As President, Alex provided citywide leadership at critical times. He was Acting Mayor during the tragedy of September 11, 2001. He assisted in the interview and selection of William Bratton as Chief of Police and helped negotiate the approval of LA Live and the modernization of Los Angeles International Airport. In 2005, his colleagues made him President of the California League of Cities.

In 2006, Alex was elected to the State Senate to represent the more than 1.1 million people in the San Fernando Valley. As a Senator, he would go on to pass more than 70 bills. Around the Capitol named Padilla one of Sacramento’s “Most Effective Legislators” for his ability to “cross ideological lines, take on big bills and keep warring parties within the caucus.”

Alex was sworn in as California’s first Latino Secretary of State on January 5, 2015 and pledged to bring more Californians into the democratic process as the state’s top elections official. With President Trump attacking immigrants and democracy, Alex has been a warrior for voting rights and the American Dream. He was re-elected in 2018 and received the most votes of any Latino elected official in the United States.

Alex lives with his wife Angela and their three sons in the San Fernando Valley.