by Linda Ikeji
US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat today January 18, ending her four-year Senate career.
The move comes two days before she’s inaugurated on Wednesday, 20 January, making history as the first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president.
Aides to the California Democrat confirmed Harris has already started the process of her resignation, having notified California Gov. Gavin Newsom of her decision, clearing the way for him to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term.
Padilla will be the first Latino senator from California, where about 40% of residents are Hispanic.
The US Vice President-elect is expected to make a formal announcement of her resignation today. She will not be giving a floor speech, aides confirmed.
Harris won her seat in November 2016 and was sworn in January 2017, becoming the first Black woman in California to serve as a senator. At the time, Harris was California’s attorney general.
In her four years in the Senate, Harris wrote legislation to close racial disparities in maternal health, assure legal counsel to those held or detained while trying to enter the U.S. under President Donald Trump’s travel ban, and joined Sen. Cory Booker and members of the Congressional Black Caucus to write the Justice in Policing Act after Floyd’s killing sparked national protests over police brutality and calls for racial justice, Politico reported.