Alex Padilla

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For the racecar driver, see Alex Padilla (driver).
Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.jpg
32nd Secretary of State of California
Assumed office
January 5, 2015
Governor Jerry Brown
Preceded by Debra Bowen
Member of the California State Senate
from the 20th district
In office
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2014
Preceded by Richard Alarcón
Succeeded by Robert Hertzberg (redistricted)
Los Angeles City Councilman from the 7th District
In office
July 1, 1999 – December 4, 2006
Preceded by Richard Alarcón
Succeeded by Richard Alarcón
President of the Los Angeles City Council
In office
July 4, 2001 – January 1, 2006
Preceded by Ruth Galanter
Succeeded by Eric Garcetti
Personal details
Born (1973-03-22) March 22, 1973 (age 41)
Panorama City, California
Political party Democratic
Residence Pacoima, California
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S.)
Occupation Educational Counselor
Website Senator Alex Padilla

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

He previously 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 both its youngest-ever president and the first Latino to lead the league. He currently serves as chair of the Los Angeles Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association. Padilla previously was a staff member to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein and California State Assembly member Tony Cardenas.

Los Angeles City Council[edit]

On July 1, 1999 at the age of 26, Alex 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[edit]

Alex Padilla was elected to the State Senate in 2006 and re-elected in 2010, with nearly 70% of the vote. He serves 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[edit]

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. Initially expected to face an intraparty battle with fellow Democrat Leland Yee, the latter's arrest rendered his campaign illegitimate. Padilla won the election in November against Republican Pete Peterson, who was endorsed by the Los Angeles Times,[8] with 53.6% of the vote.[9]


  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. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^,_2014

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Richard Alarcón
Los Angeles City Councilman
7th District
Succeeded by
Richard Alarcón
California Senate
Preceded by
Richard Alarcón
California State Senator
20th District
Succeeded by
Connie Leyva
Political offices
Preceded by
Debra Bowen
California Secretary of State