Assembly member Shirley Weber was named Secretary of State Tuesday Dec. 22, 2020. (Courtesy photo)

by The Examiner Editorial Board

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Weber as California’s secretary of state in January 2021. She replaced former Secretary of State Alex Padilla after Newsom appointed him to the United States Senate. 

On June 7, Californians will vote on whether to give Weber a full term in the office. Weber is the best candidate in the race, and voters would be wise to elect her. Weber, the first African American to serve as secretary of state, comes to the office with nearly two decades of experience as an elected official.

Weber was born in Arkansas, but her family moved to California after “her sharecropper father’s refusal to back down during a dispute with a white farmer” led to threats from a lynch mob, according to CalMatters. Those experiences with injustice and racism have influenced her career at every step of the way, including in her current role as chief election officer for the most populous state in the nation.

“My dad came in ’51,” said Weber in an interview with CalMatters. “That was before the Voting Rights Act. People knew very clearly in the South that you didn’t try to register to vote because you could be killed. So my father was not a registered voter. Neither was my grandfather. And after my father had to flee the South, when he came to California among some of the first things he did was to register to vote. He and my mom voted in every election there ever was.” 

During her time in the California State Assembly, Weber courageously led efforts to reform police use-of-force laws, persevering despite many setbacks to finally change the rules. She also authored Assembly Bill 3121, which established a statewide reparations task force to study how to redress the issue of slavery.

As secretary of state, Weber is mainly charged with ensuring that California’s elections run smoothly, freely and fairly. In addition to serving as the state’s chief elections officer, the secretary of state also manages the electronic filing system for lobbyist disclosure, maintains legally required business filings and serves as a trustee to the California Museum

Weber faces six challengers on the June ballot, but none can match her experience or gravitas. The Examiner Editorial Board endorses Weber for secretary of state.