SACRAMENTO, CA, January 18, 2021 – Alex Padilla has resigned as California’s Secretary of State, in order to serve as California’s newest United States Senator. James Schwab has been sworn in as interim Secretary of State. Schwab previously served as Chief Deputy Secretary of State.
“It has been a true honor and privilege to serve as California Secretary of State,” U.S. Senator Designate Alex Padilla said. “I am incredibly proud of the agency’s progress over the last six years, made possible through the dedication of our talented and committed staff. Since I took office, California added over 4.5 million voters to the rolls and set modern records for voter turnout. The Business Programs Division has made many of our business filing services available online, reducing rejection rates and helping entrepreneurs across the state start new businesses. The State Archives has digitized countless treasures of California history and curated exhibits online. And the Political Reform Division added new tools to make campaign finance data more easily searchable.”
“As I prepare to enter the United States Senate, I will carry on the mission of building a more inclusive democracy and economy for all.”
“The Secretary of State’s office is in good hands. James Schwab knows this agency inside out and has been a leader in securing and implementing many of our most impactful electoral reforms. And the Secretary of State’s office will soon be led by a fierce advocate for civil rights and voting rights when Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber is confirmed as our next Secretary of State,” Padilla added.
Schwab, 41, has worked at the Secretary of State’s office since the beginning of the Padilla Administration. Prior to serving as Chief Deputy, he served as Deputy Secretary of State for Policy and Planning. Previously, he served as Chief of Legislative Affairs. Prior to joining the Secretary of State’s office, Schwab worked for eight years in the California Legislature, including as a Legislative Consultant for then-State Senator Alex Padilla.
A native of Davis, California, Schwab graduated from U.C. Davis with a degree in International Relations. He lives in West Sacramento with his wife Alma Perez and their three sons. Perez is the Senior Consultant for the State Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee.
Governor’s Appointment of Dr. Shirley Weber as California Secretary of State
On December 22, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he would appoint Assemblymember Dr. Shirley N. Weber as Secretary of State to succeed Padilla. Assemblymember Weber’s appointment requires confirmation by both the State Senate and the State Assembly. The Secretary of State will be up for election in 2022.