Alejandro Padilla (born March 22, 1973) is an American politician, Democratic Party activist, engineer, and civil servant. He has served as the Secretary of State of California since winning the general election on November 5, 2014, defeating Republican Pete Peterson, with approximately 54% of the vote. He served in the California State Senate, representing the 20th District after his election to the position in November 2006. Prior to serving in the Senate he served 7½ years on the Los Angeles City Council representing the 7th District. First elected in 1999, he was elected council president in July 2001 and remained president through December 31, 2005.