SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday nominated Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber to succeed Alex Padilla as Secretary of State.

If confirmed by the legislature, Weber (D-San Diego) would become the first Black person to hold the office. Weber presided over the Electoral College that met in Sacramento earlier this month.

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The 72-year-old Weber has represented San Diego in the State Assembly since 2012 and was previously President of the San Diego Board of Education and a professor for 40 years.

“Dr. Weber is a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity,” said Newsom in a press release. “The daughter of sharecroppers from Arkansas, Dr. Weber’s father didn’t get to vote until his 30s and her grandfather never got to vote because he died before the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965. When her family moved to South Central Los Angeles, she saw as a child her parents rearrange furniture in their living room to serve as a local polling site for multiple elections. 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.”

The governor’s office lauded Weber as a champion for civil rights and police reform, who authored the landmark California Act to Save Lives, setting higher standards on the use of deadly force by police.

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Weber’s nomination comes hours after Newsom selected Padilla as the state’s next U.S. senator, a historic pick that sends a Latino to the Senate for the first time in the state’s history.

Padilla, 47, was appointed to fill out the remainder of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ term. She plans to step down from the seat in January ahead of Inauguration Day, on Jan. 20.

 

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