WASHINGTON (CBS SF / CNN) — Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she backs California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Kamala Harris’ US Senate seat when she is sworn in as vice president in January.

“My sense is that he’s going to represent California very well,” Feinstein, the senior senator from California, said on Capitol Hill, adding that he will “bring Hispanic representation to the Senate for the first time.” Padilla would be the first Hispanic senator from California if appointed.

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Feinstein said she has told the state’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, a fellow Democrat, she supports Padilla.

“He is someone I’d be very happy to work with,” she said.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology mechanical engineering graduate, Padilla, 47, worked 25 years ago as an aide to Feinstein and then-Assemblymember, now-Rep. Tony Cárdenas. Padilla then served as Los Angeles City Council president during the September 11, 2001, attacks, and as a California state senator focused on combating climate change and broadband access.

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Padilla told CNN he was “honored to be under consideration.”

CNN previously reported the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ political arm, which is known as BOLD PAC and led by Cárdenas, has endorsed Padilla, after a process that angered several members for moving too quickly and without adequate consultation, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussion.

Newsom, who will pick Harris’ successor in the Senate, has numerous potential candidates to choose from, including other statewide officeholders such as Attorney Gen. Xavier Becerra and Lt. Gov Eleni Kounalakis. Other names being floated include members of Congress such as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank.) The governor could also appoint a party elder to hold the seat until voters decide in 2022.

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