Alex Padilla

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Alex Padilla
Alex Padilla.JPG
Current candidacy
Running for California Secretary of State
Date of primaryJune 3, 2014
General electionNovember 4, 2014
Current office
California State Senate District 20
In office
Term ends
December 6, 2014
Years in position 8
Base salary$90,526/year
Per diem$141.86/day
Elections and appointments
First elected2006
Term limits2 terms
Bachelor'sMassachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994
BirthdayMarch 22, 1973
Place of birthPanorama City, CA
Personal website
Campaign website
Alex Padilla (b. 1973) is a Democratic member of the California State Senate, representing District 20. He was first elected to the chamber in 2006. His current term expires in 2014. He is running for Secretary of State of California in the 2014 elections.[1]

Prior to serving in the California Senate, Padilla was on the Los Angeles City Council from 1999-2006, serving as its president from 2001-2006.


Padilla earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. He is a 1995 graduate of the Coro Fellowship Program in Leadership and Public Affairs.

Padilla's professional experience includes working as a staffer, political director or campaign manager for a variety of Democratic politicians in California, including Dianne Feinstein, Richard Alarcon, Gilbert Cedillo and Tony Cardenas. He has served since 2005 as the president of the League of California Cities and is a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

In August 2012, he was included in a list of 20 Latino political rising stars compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle.[2]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Padilla served on the following committees:

California Committee Assignments, 2013
Business, Professions, and Economic Development
Elections and Constitutional Amendments
Energy, Utilities and Communications, Chair
Governmental Organization
Labor and Industrial Relations
Fairs, Allocation, and Classification
Legislative Budget
Joint Rules


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Padilla served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Padilla served on these committees:


Legislative scorecard

Capitol Weekly, California's major weekly periodical covering the state legislature, publishes an annual legislative scorecard to pin down the political or ideological leanings of every member of the legislature based on how they voted on an assortment of bills in the most recent legislative session. The 2009 scores were based on votes on 19 bills, but did not include how legislators voted on the Proposition 1A (2009). On the scorecard, "100" is a perfect liberal score and "0" is a perfect conservative score.[3][4]

On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Padilla ranked as an 83.[5]



See also: California secretary of state election, 2014

Padilla is running for Secretary of State of California in the 2014 elections.[1] Current incumbent secretary Debra Bowen (D) cannot seek re-election in 2014 due to term limits.[6] Padilla secured a spot in the general election in the top-two primary on June 3, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

California Secretary of State, Blanket Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Derek Cressman 7.6% 306,375
     Democratic Jeff Drobman 4.4% 178,521
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAlex Padilla 30.2% 1,217,371
     Democratic Leland Yee 9.4% 380,361
     Republican Roy Allmond 6.4% 256,668
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPete Peterson 29.6% 1,194,715
     Green David Curtis 3% 121,618
     Nonpartisan Dan Schnur 9.4% 379,898
Total Votes 4,035,527
Election Results California Secretary of State.


California Secretary of State
Poll Derek Cressman (D) Alex Padilla (D)Pete Peterson (R)Dan Schnur (NPP)David Scott Curtis (G)Leland Yee (D)OtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
The Field Poll (with Yee)
March 18-April 5, 2014
The Field Poll (without Yee)
March 18-April 5, 2014
AVERAGES 2.5% 13.5% 28.5% 4% 4.5% 4% 0.5% 42.5% +/-6 252
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Race background

Outgoing California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D) is is prevented by term limits from running for re-election in 2014. Eight candidates filed for the open seat in the June 3 primary. Democrat Alex Padilla and Republican Pete Peterson received the highest number of primary votes. They will face off in the November 4 general election for the chance to succeed Bowen as California's chief elections official.

Top-two primary

One of the key issues of the 2014 secretary of state race has been the signature and filing requirements for minor party candidates under California's top-two primary system. Under new qualifications implemented with the top-two primary system, minor party candidates must collect 10,000 signatures to waive a filing fee equal to two percent of the first year's salary for state offices or one percent for members of Congress. Prior to implementing the top-two system, the number of signatures required to waive that fee was 150, so most minor parties opted to file petitions.

After launching their campaigns for California Secretary of State, California State Senator Alex Padilla (D) and ex-state Sen. Leland Yee, who ultimately had to withdraw from the race after he was arrested in March 2014, expressed concerns about ballot access limitations for minor parties under the top-two primary system. Then-Senator Yee opposed the top-two system since it was originally proposed on the ballot, and Senator Padilla said his office was looking into legislative solutions.[7][8] Green Party candidate David Scott Curtis campaigned against the top-two system while independent candidate Dan Schnur, who will be designated "no party preference" on the ballot since California’s Proposition 14 took away candidates' "independent" label option, is in favor of it. Democrat Derek Cressman openly opposes the system but has not focused on the issue during his campaign.

Also in the race, Democrat Jeff Drobman and two Republicans, Pete Peterson and Roy Allmond, had not made their stances on the top-two system known as of April 2014.

Candidates excluded from debate

A California non-profit association called the Sacramento Press Club incited the ire of Green Party candidate David Scott Curtis after failing to invite him and two other 2014 secretary of state candidates to participate in an April 23 debate.[9] With seven candidates in the running, the Sacramento Press Club said they wanted to restrict the size of the event by only including "top contenders in a crowded field," whom they determined to be Pete Peterson (R), state Sen. Alex Padilla (D), Dan Schnur (I) and Derek Cressman (D). By the time Curtis learned of his exclusion, back-to-back Field Polls had been released showing Curtis ahead of both Schnur and Cressman, two of these presumed "top contenders." Absent an immediate explanation and/or apology from the Sacramento Press Club, Curtis used social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to broadcast his outrage over what he considered a conspicuous display of political bias by the tax-exempt organization, into which Curtis subsequently filed an IRS investigation request.[10] Amid what a press club representative characterized as Curtis' "tirade of insulting and threatening social media posts" against the organization, the Green Party hopeful questioned what such demonstrable selectivity means for the state of 'journalism,' thus prompting recognition of his snub's contextual significance. At this stage of the primary election season, political media-affiliated individuals and organizations were already cited for their marked presence and potential influence in the secretary of state open seat race. For example, Schnur is known for furnishing the Capitol press, whose members make up a large portion of the Sacramento Press Club, with sound bites and other material. Schnur was one of the two candidates to receive invitations to the debate hosted by the press club despite trailing Curtis in the polls. Joe Mathews, the California editor at Zocalo Public Square, wrote, “Of course, I’m for Dan Schnur for Secretary of State. I’m in the media, and he’s our candidate...He’s the favored candidate of our state’s political media, which feeds us polls and old, bogus narratives about the state.”[9] Meanwhile, Northern California's chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists honored ex-state Sen. and candidate Leland Yee with its Public Official Award shortly before Yee's arrest forced him to exit the race.[9]

Yee Arrest

On March 26, 2014, Democratic candidate Leland Yee was arraigned on seven charges of corruption and firearms trafficking. Yee, along with 25 others, was involved in an FBI operation to uncover those suspected of illegal activities involving drugs, guns and arranging murder for hire. If convicted, Yee would face up to 20 years in a federal prison. He was released on a $500,000 unsecured bond. Yee's alleged illegal activities stemmed from his debt acquired in a failed run for San Francisco mayor in 2011 and money raised for the Secretary of State race. Authorities believe Yee accepted money for official actions performed while in office. These actions included urging an agency to accept a software contract from a specific vendor in exchange for $10,000, writing a Senate proclamation to honor the Chee Kung Tong group for $6,800 and introducing a medical marijuana businessman to state legislators working on the issue for $21,000. Unknown to Yee, all of these paying contacts were undercover agents. In other attempts to raise money, Yee allegedly promised to help other undercover agents obtain illegal guns from an international arms dealer. [11]

Despite no longer being in the race, Yee's name remained on the primary ballot. This is due to an election rule--scarcely seen outside California--barring candidates from withdrawing their names from the ballot after they file.


2014 Campaign themes

Top-two primary system

Padilla, running for California Secretary of State in 2014 on the promise of free and fair elections, was the first state legislator to express concern over the ballot access limitations affecting minor parties due to new requirements implemented in 2012 with the top-two primary system. Under those new qualifications, minor party candidates must collect 10,000 signatures to waive a filing fee equal to two percent of the first year's salary for state offices or one percent for members of Congress. Prior to implementing the top-two system, the number of signatures required to waive that fee was 150, so most minor parties opted to file petitions. Senator Padilla's office has said it is looking into legislative solutions to improve ballot access for minor parties.[12][13]


See also: California State Senate elections, 2010

Padilla won re-election to the 20th District seat in 2010. He had no primary opposition. He defeated Republican Kathleen Evans and Libertarian Adrian Galysh in the November 2 general election.[14]

California State Senate, District 20 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Alex Padilla (D) 94,356
Kathleen Evans (R) 37,420
Adrian Galysh (L) 6,245


Senator Padilla on menu labelling law

In 2006 Padilla was elected to the California State Senate, District 20. He finished with 84,459 votes while his opponent Pamela Brown finished with 28,377 votes.[15] Padilla raised $1,947,933 for his campaign fund.

California State Senate, District 20
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Alex Padilla (D) 84,459
Pamela Brown (L) 28,377

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Padilla is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Padilla raised a total of $4,084,036 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 17, 2013.[16]

Alex Padilla's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 California State Senate, District 20 Not up for election $8,680
2010 California State Senate, District 20 Won $1,193,644
2008 California State Senate, District 20 Not up for election $933,779
2006 California State Senate, District 20 Won $1,947,933
Grand Total Raised $4,084,036


Padilla was not up for election to the California State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Padilla raised a total of $8,680.
California State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Alex Padilla's campaign in 2012
Total Raised in 2012$8,680
Source:Follow the Money


In 2010, Padilla raised $1,193,644 in contributions.[17]

His four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
AT&T $13,700
Electrical Workers Local 18 $12,000
Southwest Regional Council Of Carpenters $11,600
Operating Engineers Local 3 $8,900


In 2006 Padilla raised $1,947,933 in campaign donations. His top five donors are listed below.[18]

Donor Amount
AT&T $14,300
California Medical Association $13,400
AFSCME California $11,700
Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters $9,200
Plumbers Local 78 $8,500


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in California

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Arizona scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the California State Legislature was in session from December 3, 2012 to September 13, 2013.[19]


In 2012, the California State Legislature was in session from January 4 to August 31.[20]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Daily News Los Angeles, "State Sen. Alex Padilla to run for Secretary of State of California," April 11, 2013, accessed June 25, 2013
  2. San Francisco Chronicle, "20 Latino political rising stars of 2012 (with PHOTO GALLERY)," August 25, 2012
  3. Capitol Weekly, "Capitol Weekly's Legislative Scorecard," December 17, 2009
  4. Fox and Hounds Daily, "Random Thoughts on the Political Scene," December 18, 2009
  5. Capitol Weekly, "2009 Capitol Weekly State Legislative Scorecard (Archived)," accessed March 13, 2014
  6. Los Angeles Times,, "State Sen. Leland Yee to run for California secretary of state," November 26, 2012
  7., "Padilla, Yee looking at 3rd party ballot access issues," February 20, 2014
  8., "In statewide debut, top-two primary blocks third parties from June ballot," February 14, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2, "Sacramento Press Club excludes Green Party candidate from Secretary of State debate," April 20, 2014
  10., " Re: Exclusion of Green Party Candidate from Secretary of State Debate," April 20, 2014
  11. The Sacramento Bee, "FBI: California Sen. Leland Yee took bribes, trafficked guns," March 27, 2014
  12., "In statewide debut, top-two primary blocks third parties from June ballot," February 14, 2014
  13., "Padilla, Yee looking at 3rd party ballot access issues," February 20, 2014
  14. California Secretary of State, "Official 2010 General election results," accessed March 13, 2014
  15. California Secretary of State, "Official 2008 General election results," accessed March 13, 2014
  16. Follow the Money, "Padilla, Alex," accessed September 17, 2013
  17. Follow the Money, "2010 contributions," accessed December 23, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "2006 Campaign donations," accessed March 13, 2014
  19. StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed July 15, 2014
  20. StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed July 15, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
California State Senate District 20
Succeeded by