Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has officially resigned her U.S. Senate seat in a letter to Gov. Newsom, paving the way for her to assume her new office on Wednesday and for Alex Padilla to become the new junior senator from California.
Padilla, the current California Secretary of State, is a close ally of Gov. Newsom and will be first Latino Senator in a state where Latinos make up about 40% of the population.
“I just wanted to let you know how honored I’ve been to serve as a United States Senator for the place of my birth, the great state of California,” Harris said in a video posted to twitter.
She spoke of her time as a college intern for then-Senator Alan Cranston in 1984.
“And who would have known so many years later I would actually run the office where I was once a student watching the incredible work that a senator can do, and especially a senator from California.”
Harris said she is proud of the work she has done in four years as a senator, taking on issues of election security, criminal justice reform, veterans benefits and more.
She was just the second Black woman and 10th Black person to serve as a U.S. Senator. She will make history on Wednesday when she becomes the first woman to serve as Vice President - and first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent in the office. With her resignation, there will be no Black women left in the Senate.
“Of course, I’m not saying goodbye. In many ways I’m now saying ‘hello’ as your Vice President,” she said.
As VP, Harris will preside over the Senate and provide the tie-breaking vote. With an equal number of Democrat and Republican senators, Harris may need to settle ties more often than many of her predecessors.
“I do want to thank you for the honor of serving the place of my birth as a proud daughter of California. Thank you.”