Endorsement: The nation needs Alex Padilla in the U.S. Senate

Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Judy Chu at an event with union workers.
Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Judy Chu join union workers in Los Angeles in August to push for workplace protections.
(Office of Sen. Alex Padilla)

When Alex Padilla took over Kamala Harris’ seat in the U.S. Senate in 2021, he quickly proved that Gov. Gavin Newsom had made a wise appointment, stepping confidently onto the national stage at a moment of intense political turmoil. On Nov. 8, voters will be asked to give him his first full term representing the great state of California, and they should do so without hesitation.

The Democrat from Los Angeles is just what the nation needs: a level-headed and thoughtful lawmaker with a demonstrated commitment to improving life for the working class and immigrants, and who champions democratic ideals and institutions. You could say he has been in training for this job for more than 20 years, after being elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1999 at age 26 to represent the north San Fernando Valley, where he grew up and still lives. Padilla moved to the state Legislature and then, in 2014, was elected California’s secretary of state.

As the state’s top elections chief, Padilla ushered in voting reforms that increased registration and voter participation, even while pushing back against the unfounded claims of election fraud by former President Trump and other GOP officials. In the Senate, he has continued to support election integrity and is one of the co-sponsors of the Electoral Count Reform Act, which would reform the process to certify presidential election results.


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Sept. 8, 2022

The son of Mexican immigrants, Padilla has also become an important advocate for immigrants and immigration reform — not in the performative way of certain GOP governors who have been shipping migrants to liberal states to lodge their discontent with lack of federal action but through, for example, legislation to expand the legal pathways for citizenship. And he is a strong supporter of reproductive rights at a time when congressional Republicans are considering legislation to restrict abortions nationwide.

Padilla’s challenger is Mark Meuser, a Republican constitutional lawyer whose positions don’t reflect the views and interests of Californians. Meuser supported the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade and is highly critical of the state’s clean energy mandates. He didn’t support the Inflation Reduction Act, which will make a historic investment in fighting climate change, and is likely to vote with the GOP on any issue, no matter whether those policies run counter to the values of most Californians.

Californians deserve a senator who truly supports their ideals and is working to make the nation and its democracy stronger. We have one in Alex Padilla.