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Opinion: This is who should get Kamala Harris's Senate seat

November 26, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivers remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020, after being declared the winner with Joe Biden of the presidential election. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

With Kamala Harris' seat in the Senate vacant soon, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has a decision to make to fill it. Raul Reyes writes that with Latinos making almost 40% of the state's population, the obvious and right pick should be a Latino to replace Harris.

Newsom should name a Latino to represent California in the Senate.

Since California joined the union in 1850, it has never had a Latino senator.

Not one in its 170 years of history, despite the fact that today, the state is nearly 40% Hispanic or Latino.

Consider that California is home to more Latinos than any other state (15 million), and that they make up a majority of the state's K-12 students.

By naming a Latino as Harris's successor, Newsom would demonstrate a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion.

There are only four Latino senators, although that number will grow to five once Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico is sworn in next year.

Given that Latinos are 18% of the US population, an additional Latino senator would help address this disproportionate lack of representation.

Plus, the next senator from California will have an important role in shaping immigration policy, criminal justice reform and Covid-19 relief efforts -- all issues that significantly impact the Latino community.

I want to make sure it's inclusive, I want to make sure that we are considerate of people's points of views. " If he is sincere, he will give serious thought to input from groups like the nonprofit Latino Community Foundation, the advocacy group Latino Victory Fund, and the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which have urged Newsom to select a Latino senator.

Latinos have been underrepresented in the Senate for too long, and California should continue to be a progressive model for the nation.

But, in making his appointment, Newsom can choose from a deep bench of qualified Latinos.

Based on their track records, any one of these Latinos could ably represent all Californians as their senator.

Newsom can and should begin a new chapter in California history by elevating a Latino to the US Senate.

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