LOS ANGELES — Longtime Eastside Rep. Xavier Becerra has been appointed as California’s next attorney general by Gov. Jerry Brown to succeed fellow Democrat Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last month.
Becerra has represented his Los Angeles County district in Congress since 1993. Prior to that he was an assemblyman and a deputy state attorney general. He is also chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
“Xavier has been an outstanding public servant — in the state Legislature, the U.S. Congress and as a deputy attorney general,” Brown said in announcing the appointment Dec. 1.
“I’m confident he will be a champion for all Californians and help our state aggressively combat climate change.”
Said Becerra: “Governor Brown has presented me with an opportunity I cannot refuse — to serve as attorney general of my home state. 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.”
If confirmed by the state Legislature, Becerra will serve the final two years of Harris’ term and become California’s first Latino attorney general. His congressional seat would be filled by a special election.
The son of working-class parents whose mother is an immigrant from Mexico, Becerra was the first member of his family to graduate from college when he earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Stanford University in 1980.
Four years later, he earned his law degree from Stanford Law School. He began his legal career in 1984 working in a legal services office representing the mentally ill before joining the state attorney general’s office.
In 1990 he was elected to the state Assembly representing the West San Gabriel Valley and Montebello.
Two years later, he was elected to Congress.