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WILMINGTON, Delaware, USA (AP) – Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before being sworn in along with President-elect Joe Biden.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is aware of the decision and will appoint Alex Padilla, currently California’s secretary of state, to replace her in the two years remaining, people said.
Padilla will be the first Hispanic senator from California, a state with a 40% Latino population. Newsom announced his selection in December, following intense negotiations to succeed Harris in the upper house.
Harris will not deliver a farewell address to the full Senate. That body will not meet again until Tuesday, the eve of the inauguration and two weeks after fanatic supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
That episode, Harris stated in an interview Sunday, “was seismic, it was a turning point. Sometimes we think that a turning point is when something new and positive comes along, but no, this was a moment of historical national reflection, a sign of the fragility of our democracy, ”Harris said.
Padilla’s entry, and Harris’s role as the Senate runoff vote now that she is vice president, imply that Democrats will have a majority in the upper house. However, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have yet to be certified as winners in the Jan. 5 elections for their senatorial positions and be sworn in.
Harris will be the first black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to be vice president, but at the same time, her departure from the Senate leaves that body without a black woman. Harris was just the second black woman to be a senator. The first was Carol Moseley Braun, a Democrat from Illinois.
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