Updated: Nov 11, 2020
I've been saying that Newsom's first choice is Secretary of State Alex Padilla... but I now hear from a reliable source that I've been wrong. The people around Newsom favor Padilla, but Newsom has a mind of his own. The Governor wants a Hispanic senator as part of his legacy-- and part of his own run for Dianne Feinstein's soon-to-be-former seat when she dies, retires or gets shipped off to a home for the criminally insane. But a Latino isn't what Gavin is looking for; a Latina is.
Inside Newsom world-- where there's a tendency to do whatever crooked consultant Ace Smith says-- everyone knows Smith is pushing Padilla, one of his clients (as is Newsom). But when Newsom runs for the Senate, he doesn't want anyone to point out that he would be the second male representing California in the Senate. Scott Wilson at the Washington Postgot it wrong this afternoon... well half wrong.
The obvious choice would have been former Congresswoman/former Secretary of Labor and current Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, a perfect choice. But there are persistent rumors that she prefers to stay in L.A. than go back to DC and that she is planning on running for mayor. There's another Latina who is also perfect for the job though-- Inland Empire Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes, who was just reelected with 70% of the vote.
She originally took on a corrupt conservative Democrat, Cheryl Brown, and beat her by ten points with a big boost from organized labor. She has a stellar record in the state legislature, is a proponent of both Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal, and chairs the Human Services Committee. She has been a vocal and successful proponent of environmental and job safety reform, passed legislation on police violence, prisoner re-entry, a victims of crimes bill, and corporate governance. And her enemies... two of the most corrupt power blocs in the state, hated by one and all: the charter school industry and Big Oil. Good enemies to have in California.
This morning, the California Democratic Voter Guide predicted that the finalists Newsom is considering are Barbara Lee, Karen Bass, Alex Padilla, Xavier Becerra and... Eloise Reyes.
Something like 39,937,500 people live in California. The biggest ethnic group is Latino (39%), followed by White (37%), Asians (15%), Black (6%), mixed race (3%), Native American and Pacific Islander (less than 1%). There has never been a California senator of Hispanic heritage.