December 07, 2016
In what is looked on as a stunning political move, California Governor Jerry Brown has selected longtime U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra to replace Kamala Harris as the state's Attorney General. Becerra has a lengthy political resume, having served one term in the state Assembly and 23 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing a district northeast of downtown Los Angeles. He served in House leadership as chair of the House Democratic Caucus and was on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. He was also a leader in the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Becerra was born and raised in Sacramento to Mexican immigrant parents and went on to receive his bachelor's and law degrees from Stanford University. He also spent four years in the State Attorney General's office in the Division of Civil Rights. Becerra will be the first Latino to fill the position of California Attorney General.
Becerra's wife, Carolina Reyes, M.D., is an OB/GYN specializing in maternal-fetal medicine. His record in Congress reflects consistent agreement with the California Medical Association on issues such as Medicare, Medicaid and public health. Interestingly, Becerra's home district has the largest Medicaid population of any in the nation. During the health care reform debate, he fought for controls on for-profit health plans to ensure they covered patients with pre-existing conditions and could not drop coverage when someone became ill. He has consistently been an advocate for the less fortunate. Most recently, he has fought to control rising drug prices to make sure they are more affordable and accessible for patients.
Becerra's appointment requires confirmation by the Assembly and Senate and would most likely take place after the start of the year. He is expected to be confirmed and would fill the remainder of Kamala Harris's term. As the time filled would be less than half the full term, he would be eligible to serve two additional terms.