Election Commentary

Will a Latino gay man replace Kamala Harris in the Senate?

Mayor Robert Garcia
Mayor Robert GarciaPhoto: Long Beach California Mayor's Office

With Joe Biden’s presidential election victory over Donald Trump, the next race has started – and the speculation by political insiders and pundits is just as fierce.

Who will fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ California Senate seat?

Related: LGBTQ people played a huge role in Joe Biden’s nomination to be President

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) reportedly wants to “make history” with his selection and he has a plethora of good options.

But out Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia’s name keeps popping up. Garcia would be both the first Latino and first gay U.S. senator to represent the state.

Garcia recently spoke at the 2020 Democratic convention as part of a group of out elected officials. Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Georgia state Rep. Sam Park also spoke.

Kenyatta, Park, and Garcia are the first LGBTQ people to deliver a keynote address at the convention.

In 2009, Robert Garcia became the first LGBTQ person of color elected to the Long Beach City Council and in 2014 he became mayor of the city. In 2018 he married his husband Matt Mendez.

To commemorate his historic election as mayor, Kamala Harris officiated his swearing-in ceremony.

Other names being bandied about as potential replacements include out State Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego, but her chances are considered slim.

Kamala Harris’s updated Twitter profile shares her pronouns & her new title: Vice President-elect

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