By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Alex Padilla, California’s former secretary of state and one-time Los Angeles City councilman, took the oath of office Wednesday as the state’s newest and first Latino U.S. senator.

After now-President Joe Biden and now Vice President Kamala Harris won the 2020 Presidential Election, California Gov. Gavin Newsom chose Padilla to appoint to Harris’ senate seat.

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Padilla, 47, who was raised in the Pacoima area, is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering, spending time at Hughes Aircraft before switching to politics.

He spent more than seven years on the Los Angeles City Council, representing the Seventh District in the northeastern San Fernando Valley, serving as council president for five years – the youngest and first Latino to ever hold that post. He was elected secretary of state in 2015.

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Biden and Harris were sworn in Wednesday morning, paving the way for the former senator to swear in her successor as vice president.

“As I prepare to enter the United States Senate, I will carry on the mission of building a more inclusive democracy and economy for all,” Padilla said Monday.

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Newsom has nominated Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, to take over as secretary of state. If confirmed by the Legislature, Weber will become the first Black woman to ever hold that position.