Alex Padilla Heads To Senate, Shirley Weber Nominated As Replacement
Gov. Gavin Newsom took swift action Tuesday to fill the newly vacant post of California secretary of state by selecting Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber to serve as the state’s chief elections officer, the result of his decision to appoint incumbent Secretary of State Alex Padilla to the U.S. Senate.
Weber, a 72-year-old retired professor and San Diego legislator, has earned a reputation for taking on tough issues at the state Capitol. She would be only the fourth woman to ever hold the position and the first Black woman to do so in state history.
“Dr. Weber is a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity,” Newsom said in a written statement, noting her family’s trek to Los Angeles from the rural South where they were not allowed to vote. “Now, she’ll be at the helm of California’s elections as the next Secretary of State — defending and expanding the right to vote and serving as the first African American to be California’s Chief Elections Officer.”
Shirley Weber, soon to become the first Black woman to serve as California’s top elections officer, will come to work with a deeply personal perspective about protecting the right to vote: Her grandfather never voted in the rural South decades ago.