Who would fill Kamala Harris’ senate seat?

Ro Khanna

Another Indian American lawmaker, Ro Khanna, among contenders.

Who will take Kamala Harris’ place in the Senate, once the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, moves to the White House as vice president come January?

It could be another Indian American lawmaker Ro Khanna, suggests Politico putting him on the short list of California Governor Gavin Newsom who gets to appoint the State’s next US senator.

Khanna, who has represented Silicon Valley in the House of Representatives since 2017, has strong support among younger voters, it said.

He is also a favorite of progressives who bolstered his profile as the former national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, according to Politico.

Born in 1976 in Philadelphia to Punjabi Indian immigrants, Khanna represents the only majority Asian American district in mainland US.

READ: Ro Khanna: Indian American lawmaker who professes ‘progressive capitalism’ (November 25, 2019)

“This is the area where the Indian American community enjoys more respect than anywhere and has contributed to creating jobs locally,” he says.

Khanna, who has degrees from the University of Chicago and Yale Law School, sees himself as a “progressive capitalist,” who is passionate about both development and inclusivity.

Newsom wants to make a historic choice, Politico said citing insiders. He also has to contend with women’s groups who have also pressured him to fill Harris’ seat with another woman of color.

Others high on the list include Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who If picked would become the first Latino senator in the state’s 170-year history and Rep. Karen Bass of Los Angeles, the head of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rep. Barbara Lee, a progressive icon from Oakland, openly gay Latino Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf are among other names being buzzed about, Politico said.

The intense lobbying for his appointment to fill Harris’ Senate seat was “not something I’d wish on my worst enemy,” Newsom was quoted as saying by Politico.

“You create enemies in this process; you don’t just make great friends — and it’s a vexing decision,” he said. “It’s a challenging one. It’s also a presumptive one … some people are voting for Kamala Harris, so is [the appointee] in her image?”

Other considerations include whether Harris’ replacement would be able to hold the seat when her term expires in two years or

if he should pick a “placeholder” to allow an even playing field, Politico said.

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