California’s 1st Latino US senator brings cheers, anger

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom selected Secretary of State Alex Padilla to become the state’s first Latino U.S. senator.

But the pick received a mixed reception because Newsom bypassed African American candidates to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the Senate’s only Black woman.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who is Black, called Newsom’s decision “a real blow to the African American community.”

Padilla says he will be a senator for all Californians.

The son of Mexican immigrants — a short-order cook and a housekeeper — Padilla earned an engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and went on to a steady rise in politics.

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