Who will replace Sen. Kamala Harris now that she's set to become vice president?

ByLuz Pena KGO logo
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Who would replace Sen. Kamala Harris if she becomes VP?
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris have not won the 270 electoral votes, but in California talks for filling her senate seat have begun.

SAN FRANCISCO -- President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the 270 electoral votes, and California talks for filling her senate seat have begun.

"The race is already on to replace Kamala Harris," said Phil Matier, ABC7 News contributor and SF Chronicle Insider.

RELATED: How to pronounce Kamala Harris' name and what it means

Under California law, Governor Gavin Newsom will have the power to choose Senator Harris' replacement. San Francisco London Breed is one of the names that have been mentioned.

Matier says Gov. Newsom is considering multiple factors.

"One of his advisors told me that the main thing that you should look for politically is someone who's been with you in the past and can be with you in the future," said Matier.

In a poll published today by the University of Southern California, nearly 1,200 registered California voters were asked "If the governor were to make history with his choice, which options should he consider?"

"14% said the first Latino senator in California."

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In that case some of the options are, "Alex Padilla, Secretary of State or Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General who was himself a congressman and is not stranger to Washington," said Matier.

29% of those polled also said they wanted someone with experience in Washington, and when asked to pick a name, the top two choices were Bay Area representatives.

"11% Barbara Lee, 8% Ro Khanna, 8% Alex Padilla, 7% Karen Bass, 6% Robert Garcia, 3% Toni Atkins"

Representative Lee had this reaction to the poll, "I'm watching these votes come in for Biden and Harris. Believe me that is what I've been focused on."

Silicon Valley Representative Ro Khanna says he's open to the possibility.

"Do you think there is a possibility that Governor Newsom might call you to take that seat?" he was asked.

"Well I think there are a lot of great people out there, but I what I hope is that the governor picks someone clearly with a progressive views," said Khanna.

But right now, anything can happen and Governor Newsom could even find himself making two replacements.

"If he happens to pick someone who is already holding a statewide office, let's say like Secretary of State Alex Padilla or Attorney General Xavier Becerra or Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, he gets to pick their replacement as well. He get a twofer out of it," said Matier.