San Francisco Mayor London Breed referred to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) decision to replace Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) as unfortunate before flipping hours later and praising Padilla as historic.
“I think that there was a lot of pride when not only Kamala was selected as the vice president — the nomination for the party and is now our vice president-elect for the country,” Breed said at a COVID-19 press conference when asked to provide reaction to the pick, and to explain her feelings at the prospect of the U.S. Senate having no black women as representatives.
“When you think about the history of this country and the challenges that exist for African Americans, especially African American women in the Senate, definitely this is a real blow to the African American community, to African American women, to women in general. And I think it’s really challenging to put it into words,” said Breed.
“It was definitely a surprise,” Breed 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, definitely is unfortunate.”
Hours after Breed’s press conference — and after a story went up in The San Francisco Chronicle detailing Breed’s disappointment — Breed delivered a more upbeat message on Twitter about Newsom’s decision to appoint Padilla to the U.S. Senate.
“This is a historic day in California, esp for the Latino community. Congratulations [Alex Padilla] on your appointment to the Senate. We have a lot of work to do to advance the rights of immigrants & people of color in this country & I know you will be leading that fight in DC,” tweeted Breed on Tuesday evening.
This is a historic day in California, esp for the Latino community. Congratulations @AlexPadilla4CA on your appointment to the Senate. We have a lot of work to do to advance the rights of immigrants & people of color in this country & I know you will be leading that fight in DC.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) December 23, 2020
Breed’s second reaction to the selection seemed much more in-line with the tone Newsom set when he announced Padilla as his pick on Tuesday morning.
His appointment will make history. But the @AlexPadilla4CA I know is far more interested in changing history — especially for the working men and women of our state and country.
I can think of no one better to represent the state of California as our next United States Senator. pic.twitter.com/xiAzpTS42Y
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 22, 2020
Newsom also announced that Padilla’s replacement as Secretary of State would be Assemblymember Shirley Weber, 72, a long-time professor of Africana studies at San Diego State University.
Related: Harris Lauds State Rep. Shirley Weber, Established Africana Studies Professor, As Newsom’s Secretary Of State Pick