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Alex Padilla
Alex Padilla official photo.jpg
32nd Secretary of State of California
Assumed office
January 5, 2015
GovernorJerry Brown
Gavin Newsom
Preceded byDebra Bowen
Member of the California Senate
from the 20th district
In office
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2014
Preceded byRichard Alarcon
Succeeded byConnie Leyva
President of the Los Angeles City Council
In office
July 4, 2001 – January 1, 2006
Preceded byRuth Galanter
Succeeded byEric Garcetti
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 7th district
In office
July 1, 1999 – December 4, 2006
Preceded byRichard Alarcon
Succeeded byRichard Alarcon
Personal details
Born (1973-03-22) March 22, 1973 (age 46)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)
WebsiteOfficial website

Alejandro Padilla (born March 22, 1973) is an American politician, Democratic Party activist, engineer, and civil servant. He has served as the Secretary of State of California since winning the general election on November 5, 2014, defeating Republican Pete Peterson, with approximately 54% of the vote.

He served in the California State Senate, representing the 20th District after his election to the position in November 2006. Prior to serving in the Senate he served 7½ years on the Los Angeles City Council representing the 7th District. First elected in 1999, he was elected council president in July 2001 and remained president through December 31, 2005.


Padilla is one of three children of Santos and Lupe Padilla, both of whom emigrated from Mexico before meeting and marrying in Los Angeles.[1]

Padilla grew up in the community of Pacoima in Los Angeles and is a graduate of San Fernando High School in the northeast San Fernando Valley.[2] He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.[3] After graduation, he moved back to Pacoima and briefly worked as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft, where he wrote software for satellite systems.[4][5][6]

Padilla is a former member of the governing board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) which has a membership of more than 6,000 Latino officials in the United States. He has served as president of the League of California Cities and was its youngest-ever president and the first Latino to lead the league. He serves as chair of the Los Angeles Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association. Padilla had been a staff member to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein and California State Assembly member Tony Cardenas.

Los Angeles City Council

On July 1, 1999, at the age of 26, Padilla was sworn in as a member of the Los Angeles City Council. Two years later his council colleagues elected him council president. Padilla was the first Latino and the youngest person elected president of the Los Angeles City Council.

State Senate

Padilla was elected to the State Senate in 2006 and re-elected in 2010, with nearly 70% of the vote. He served as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Business and Professions and Economic Development Committee, Governmental Organization Committee, Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, and chairs the Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Public Policy. He left office on November 30, 2014, after two terms in the body.

Secretary of State

Padilla's first SOS photo
Padilla's first SOS photo

California places a two-term limit on its constitutional officers, and incumbent Debra Bowen, a fellow Democrat, was unable to run for reelection to the position of Secretary of State, the state's top elections official. On April 11, 2013,[7] Alex Padilla, then a term limited State Senator, announced his intention to run for the position. He was expected to face an intraparty battle with fellow Democrat Leland Yee, but Yee's arrest caused him to abandon the race.[8] Padilla won the election in November against Republican Pete Peterson, who was endorsed by the Los Angeles Times,[9] with 53.6% of the vote.[10] On November 6, 2018, Padilla was re-elected in a landslide over Republican Mark Meuser.[11]

Electoral history

California State Senate 20th District Democratic Primary Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Padilla 24,303 55.8
Democratic Cindy Montanez 19,299 44.2
California State Senate 20th District Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Padilla 84,459 74.9
Libertarian Pamela Brown 28,377 25.1
California State Senate 20th District Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Padilla (inc.) 94,356 68.4
Republican Kathleen "Suzy" Evans 37,420 27.1
Libertarian Adrian Galysh 6,245 4.5
California Secretary of State Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Padilla 1,217,371 30.2
Republican Pete Peterson 1,194,715 29.7
Democratic Leland Yee 380,361 9.4
Independent Dan Schnurr 369,898 9.2
Democratic Derek Cressman 306,375 7.6
Republican Roy Allmond 256,668 6.4
Democratic Jeffrey Drobman 178,521 4.4
Green David Curtis 121,618 3.0
California Secretary of State Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Padilla 3,799,711 53.6
Republican Pete Peterson 3,285,334 46.4
California Secretary of State Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Padilla 7,909,521 64.5
Republican Mark Meuser 4,362,545 35.5


  1. ^ Hymon, Steve (May 7, 2006). "Sons Live Out a Dream". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  2. ^ Roderick, Kevin (July 2002). "Power Play in East Valley". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  3. ^ Benefiel, Anna K. (August 4, 1999). "Recent MIT Graduate Elected to Los Angeles City Council". The Tech. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Downing, Eve (Winter 2000). "Coming Home". MIT Spectrum. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  5. ^ Whitaker, Barbara (July 7, 2001). "Public Lives; A Quick Climb Up the Los Angeles Political Ladder". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  6. ^ Fox, Sue (July 4, 2001). "Former Engineer Rocketed to the Top". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  7. ^ McGreevy, Patrick (April 11, 2013). "Sen. Alex Padilla announces run for California secretary of state". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Former Sen. Yee changes plea to guilty, San Francisco Chronicle, July 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Pete Peterson is best choice for California secretary of state". Los Angeles Times. September 15, 2014.
  10. ^,_2014
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-29. Retrieved 2018-12-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

Civic offices
Preceded by
Richard Alarcon
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 7th district

Succeeded by
Richard Alarcon
Preceded by
Ruth Galanter
President of the Los Angeles City Council
Succeeded by
Eric Garcetti
California Senate
Preceded by
Richard Alarcon
Member of the California Senate
from the 20th district

Succeeded by
Connie Leyva
Political offices
Preceded by
Debra Bowen
Secretary of State of California
This page was last edited on 2 March 2020, at 13:55
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