Alex Padilla announces candidacy for Secretary of State

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PACOIMA (CNS) – Sen. Alex Padilla announced his candidacy for secretary of state today, saying he is seeking to become the state’s chief elections officer to increase voter participation.

“We should modernize our voting systems and use technology, where appropriate, to make information about our elections more accessible to voters,” Padilla said in a statement posted on his campaign’s website.

“We must increase the transparency of campaign finance so that voters can easily determine who is funding campaigns and initiatives. I will also work to make voting more accessible and convenient.”

With the secretary of state also responsible for registering new business, Padilla, D-Pacoima, said he would “work to eliminate the backlog in that process, so that new businesses feel welcome, can open sooner and create jobs without delay.”

Padilla was raised in Pacoima, received a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and then-Assemblyman Tony Cardenas and was elected to the City Council in 1999 when he was 26 years old. Padilla was elected council president in 2001, remaining in the position until Jan. 1, 2006 when he began his campaign for the state Senate.

Padilla was elected to the Senate in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. He is barred from seeking re-election because of term limits.

Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, announced his candidacy for secretary of state in November, saying he would be “committed to fair elections and expanding access to our democracy,” and “continue to use technology to advance our democracy and increase voter participation.”

Yee authored a law allowing for online voter registration.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

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