CA Governor Newsom Selects SOS Alex Padilla to Fill Harris' Senate Seat

California Governor Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Kamala Harris' U.S. Senate seat once it becomes vacant. RNLA Co-Chair Harmeet Dhillon, a Californian, reacted to the news on Twitter:

Padilla has come under fire in the past for his poor record as California's Secretary of State. The RNLA has highlighted these issues since Padilla became Secretary of State in 2015:

Most recently, Padilla faced scrutiny from Republicans on the House Oversight and Administration Committees for alleged misuse of CARES Act funding. As reported by Fox News on December 3rd:

Republicans on the House Oversight and House Administration Committees are demanding answers from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla about a “highly questionable” $35 million contract his office awarded to a firm linked to the Biden campaign, claiming it was a “misuse of taxpayer money and a violation of the law.”

Padilla’s office, according to House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis, R-Ill., and Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., allegedly used Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant money from the coronavirus stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, to fund a voter contract with SKD Knickerbocker— a public affairs and political consulting firm the Republican lawmakers described as “Joe Biden’s main election campaign advisory firm.”

House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer noted how alarming the prospect of a Senator Padilla would be when considering his poor stewardship of elections and taxpayer dollars on the state level:

“Secretary Padilla’s decision to fast-track a no-bid contract to a pro-Biden firm raises serious ethical and legal questions and we must have answers immediately,” Comer said in a statement to Fox News. “It appears taxpayer funds were illegally allocated by Padilla’s office to enable Democrat operatives to contact voters and potentially have access to sensitive voter information.”

Comer added that Padilla “must be held accountable for this gross misuse of Americans’ taxpayer dollars.”

“Given Mr. Padilla is rumored to be appointed to Senator Kamala Harris’ seat, the Inspector General must immediately investigate and report findings to Congress before he is entrusted with upholding the integrity of all federal elections and safeguarding taxpayer dollars,” he said.

Republicans should remain vigilant of soon-to-be-Senator Padilla for how he might try to implement California's failed election policies – like unlimited ballot harvesting and rapidly expanded mail voting – on the federal level.