Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Padilla in January 2021 to fill Vice President Kamala Harris’ vacant senate seat after she was sworn in to her new White House position.
Californians elected Harris to the senate in 2016, a six-year term that runs through January 2023. But a law signed by Newsom last year prevents Padilla from finishing Harris’ term as an appointed senator.
Instead, he must compete with a slew of other candidates for both the partial term and for a new six-year stint.
Voting experts say there’s nothing wrong with the ballot. It’s just a strange set of circumstances that California voters will be called upon to sort out — both in the June primary and again this fall in the November general election.