Senator Alex Padilla is expected to win reelection in June. It’s an unusual election year for the longtime Democrat, though.
Atypical Election Cycle
Now that Kamala Harris’ term is up, Padilla will have to run for a full six-year term in 2022 in order to continue serving. In June and again in November, voters will have a choice between two races: a special Senate election to fill the remainder of Harris’ term, which ends this year, and the regularly scheduled election for a six-year term, which begins in January.
Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Padilla when Harris resigned her Senate seat to become Vice President of the United States.
Padilla was appointed to serve the remaining two years of Harris’ tenure by newly elected Governor Pete Wilson after Harris resigned in the middle of his term and a vacancy in the Senate arose in California for the first time since 1991. Democrat Dianne Feinstein defeated Seymour in 1992’s re-election campaign.
More than 20 candidates are vying for the Senate seat, but only Padilla and one Republican challenger have surfaced.
Padilla is a longstanding Los Angeles politician who became the state’s first Latino U.S. senator when he was elected in 2010. Mark P. Meuser, a constitutional attorney, is his closest Republican rival.
According to a new L.A. Times survey, Padilla has the backing of 44% of probable voters, with Meuser coming in second with 14% of the vote.
Some of California’s coronavirus health regulations have been criticized by Meuser, who has filed lawsuits against Governor Newsom. Inflation and the status of the economy have also been blasted by him. A supporter of Vice President Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative and the Democrats’ infrastructure spending plan, Padilla also supported climate and immigration reform.
Additionally, Dan O’Dowd, a self-described “technological safety expert,” is running for office, focusing his campaign on the potential perils of driverless automobiles.