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Who Will Take Kamala Harris’s Senate Seat? A List Of Potential Candidates

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Kamala Harris

It’s only been three days since the world found out the results of the 2020 presidential election, and the air already feels lighter knowing that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be in the White House come January 20.

However, with Kamala Harris making the move up the political ladder to Vice President — the first South-Asian, Black woman in history to do so — her Senate seat is up for grabs.

Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, who is up for re-election in California in 2022, reportedly wants his upcoming Senate pick to be one of “historic significance.” 

Who will take Kamala Harris’s Senate seat?

The task to fill Harris’s Senate seat is daunting one, and one that Newsom says will be quite the process, saying it’s “not something he’d wish on my worst enemy.”

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"You create enemies in this process; you don't just make great friends — and it's a vexing decision," he added. "It’s a challenging one. It’s also a presumptive one ... some people are voting for Kamala Harris, so is [the appointee] in her image?"

Read on for a list of potential candidates who may be in the running for Kamala’s Senate seat.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla

According to insiders, Alex Padilla is at the top of Newsom’s list to fill Kamala Harris’s Senate seat. 

If Newsom goes with Padilla, he will be the first Latino to hold the Senate seat in California’s 170-year history. You can’t get much more historic than that!

Rep. Karen Bass

Some people are hoping that Gavin Newsom’s pick is another woman of color, like Rep. Karen Bass. 

Bass has served as the U.S. Representative for California’s 37th Congressional District since 2013, and was also on the shortlist for Joe Biden’s VP pick earlier this year.

Rep. Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee is currently the Representative for California’s 13th Congressional District and has held the position since 2013.

Before that, she was the Representative for California’s 9th Congressional District from 1998 - 2013.

Lee recently led a University of Southern California poll on who Gavin Newsom should pick for the Senate seat.

Rep. Katie Porter

Rep. Katie Porter (and her whiteboard!) is a favorite among young California voters, and she’s proven time and time again that she can hold her own when coming face to face with political veterans.

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She currently serves as the Representative for California’s 45th Congressional District.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia

Sources close to Newsom claim that Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia’s name is at the top of the Governor’s list for Senate. 

If Garcia is appointed to Senate, he would be the first Latino and first openly gay man to hold the Senate seat in California. 

What are the names of the other candidates who may take Kamala Harris’s Senate seat?

Other names being tossed around in the Senate race include Toni Atkins, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Treasurer Fiona Ma, and State Controller Betty Yee.

Whoever Newsom appoints to the Senate, the decision will not be easy.

It looks like Newsom has a tough decision on his hands, although the California Governor did have time to joke about the candidates vying for Harris’s seat. 

"You know there's phone calls, there's emails," he joked about candidates trying to get on his good side ahead of his Senate selection.

"People just happen to show up certain places," he continued. "They want to babysit your kids, they offer to get groceries, get coffee." 

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter