Vice President-elect and Oakland native Kamala Harris resigned Monday from her seat representing California in the U.S. Senate ahead of Inauguration Day later this week.
Harris, who along with President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated Wednesday, is being replaced in the Senate by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed to the seat later Monday morning following Harris’ resignation.
Harris, in a video posted on Twitter thanking Californians for allowing her to represent them in the Senate, said:
“I’m not saying goodbye. In many ways I’m now saying hello as your vice president.”
She will now preside over the Senate as its president and could make tiebreaking votes in a body that is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans following November’s elections and a runoff for two Senate seats in Georgia earlier this month.
Harris will be the first woman and first African American ever to serve as vice president of the U.S. She began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and was elected as San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general before being elected to the Senate in 2016.
Padilla, her replacement in the Senate, was a Los Angeles city councilman and state senator prior to serving as California’s secretary of state.
His chief deputy secretary of state, James Schwab, will serve as acting secretary of state until Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, Newsom’s nominee for secretary of state, is voted on by the state Legislature.
“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.”