Governor Brown Names L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra To Be State Attorney General
Governor Jerry Brown has named Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra to replace Kamala Harris as the next California attorney general. Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in last month's election, and if confirmed, Becerra would be the first Latino attorney general for the state.
"Governor Brown has presented me with an opportunity I cannot refuse—to serve as Attorney General of my home state," Becerra said in a statement. "As a former deputy attorney general, I relished the chance to be our state's chief law enforcement officer to protect consumers, advance criminal justice reform and, of course, keep our families safe."
"It's a phenomenal opportunity," Becerra told the L.A. Times. "It means I get to be home a lot more."
"Xavier has been an outstanding public servant—in the State Legislature, the U.S. Congress and as a deputy attorney general," Governor Brown said in a statement from his office. "I'm confident he will be a champion for all Californians and help our state aggressively combat climate change."
Becerra has served twelve terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and currently represents California's 34th congressional district, which includes downtown Los Angeles. He's currently on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which oversees taxes and social programs like Social Security and Medicare, and was looking to be ranking Democrat of the committee before being offered the position of attorney general. He graduated from Stanford Law School and previously served as California's Deputy-Attorney General from 1987 to 1990.
While the position takes Becerra out of Washington, it would potentially give him more power to take on the Trump administration when it comes to defending California's laws against the federal government.
Becerra's new position would have to be confirmed by both the California State Assembly and Senate, which are both controlled by Democrats.
Not long after Becerra's appointment by Governor Brown, former Speaker of the State Assembly John Perez announced his intention to run for his seat in Congress:
In a statement, Perez says California "needs leadership who will stand up against Donald Trump" and to "protect the progress we've made."— Christine Mai-Duc (@cmaiduc) December 1, 2016
Perez represented Los Angeles in the State Assembly from 2008 to 2014. He is currently a UC Regent.