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San Francisco’s mayor blasted California Gov. Gavin Newsom for appointing Alex Padillo to fill the Senate seat vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, calling it an affront to African Americans and predicting there will be no more black women in the chamber.
“This is a real blow to the African American community, to African American women, to women in general,” Mayor London Breed told ABC 7 in San Francisco on Tuesday.
“It’s really challenging to put it into words, but it was definitely a surprise,” she continued. “And it’s an unfortunate situation as we are trying to move this country forward, and making sure that black lives truly matter and that African Americans have a seat at the table – especially African American women. After what was done in this race on a national level, (it) definitely is unfortunate.”
Newsom picked Padilla, his secretary of state, to fill Harris’ seat on Tuesday, making him the first Latino to represent California in the Senate.
Breed said “there was a lot of pride” when Biden picked Harris as his 2020 running mate.
But when the two were elected, Breed said another opportunity arose “to ensure, as (Harris) continued to say, that even though you may be the first, make sure you’re not the last.”
Breed, who is African American, was thought to be along with California Reps. Karen Bass and Barbara Lee potential replacements for Harris.
Lee and Bass both offered Padilla their congratulations.
“I believe he will be a powerful voice in the Senate for those who continue to be denied our country’s promise of equality. I look forward to working with him on behalf of all Californians to address the economic and public health crises we are facing, and to create a brighter future for our state and for communities across the country,” Lee said in a Twitter post.
Bass likened Newsom’s selection of Padilla to Harris’ 2016 Senate victory.
“Today, our state gains yet another champion following a distinguished line of individuals who have shattered glass ceilings and hurdled obstacles in their way. After then-Senator Harris’s historic election in 2016 as the first woman of color to represent California, we now have another historic barrier shattered as Alex will be the first Latino to serve California in the United States Senate,” she wrote on Twitter.
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