Newsom to name Assemblywoman Shirley Weber to succeed Padilla as California secretary of state

Gov. Gavin Newsom will take 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.

Newsom is expected to formally announce his selection of Weber on Tuesday, according to a source close to the governor who was not authorized to speak on the record and asked not to be identified. The speedy decision by Newsom to announce the appointment on the same day he chose Padilla to fill the Senate seat of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris may reflect the intense pressure the governor faced by passing over several Black women for the job of representing California in the upper house of Congress.

It also will heighten the likelihood of intra-party clashes in 2022, as other two other Democratic legislators have already opened campaign committees to run for the position that Padilla would have left due to term limits. Weber’s appointment must be confirmed by both houses of the Legislature.