State Asm. Shirley Weber will be California's next Secretary of State following a unanimous confirmation from the State Senate Thursday.
The confirmation makes Weber the first Black Secretary of State in California's history. The Senate Rules Committee confirmed Weber's nomination during a hearing on Wednesday.
"It’s OFFICIAL, my nomination for CA Secretary of State has been confirmed by the CA Legislature and my next step will be swearing in," Weber said in a Tweet. "I will be the 1st Black woman to serve in this role and only the 5th Black person to serve as constitutional officer ever."
In a Tweet, Gov. Newsom congratulated Weber for making history.
"Dr. Weber is a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity. She will be at the helm of our elections as our next Secretary of State, the first African American to be California’s Chief Elections Officer," the Governor's Office said.
The California Senate confirmed Weber in a 29-0 floor vote on Thursday. Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, who also represents the San Diego area, said she is looking forward to learning from Weber as she "protects our most sacred democratic process."
“Dr. Weber’s appointment makes history, but I believe that as Secretary of State, Shirley Weber will continue to make history, especially in ensuring California’s leadership on voting rights and voter participation,” Atkins said.
Weber was nominated for the position by Gov. Gavin Newsom after the selection of Secretary of State Alex Padilla for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant when Kamala Harris was chosen as Joe Biden's vice president.
Weber previously represented California's 79th Assembly District, which covers parts of southeastern San Diego, including the cities of Bonita, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City and San Diego. She has served that office since 2012. From her position in the State Assembly, she headed the California Legislative Black Caucus.
Weber has been a vocal advocate for advancing the positions of Black people in California, specifically when it comes to voting rights. When her nomination was announced by Gov. Newsom, she shared a story about why the cause was so close to her heart.
Weber said her father moved his family to California in the 50s for fear of being lynched in Hope, Arkansas, where she was born. It wasn't until coming to the Golden State that her father began voting. In later years, her Los Angeles home became a recurring polling place.
"To be given the opportunity to be able to, somehow or another, do things that my family only dreamed about, that my father never thought in his lifetime would ever happen -- that his daughter would be the person and the secretary of state whose responsibility was to ensure the integrity of voting in California, to make sure that everyone had that right and that right was protected," Weber said at the time.
Weber has also served as the president of the San Diego Board of Education and had a 40-year career at San Diego State University, co-founding its Department of Africana Studies.