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State Sen. Alex Padilla to head national Latino group

June 26, 2012 |  9:31 am

State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) is stepping up onto the national stage with his election to head the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, or NALEOState Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) is stepping up onto the national stage with his election to head a prominent and powerful Latino advocacy group.

Padilla was elected over the weekend as president of the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, which represents more than 6,500 Latino officials throughout the United States.

The organization has so much clout that both President Obama and Mitt Romney, the expected Republican challenger for the presidency, addressed NALEO at the convention where Padilla was elected.

"I am humbled and honored that my colleagues have chosen me to lead this organization during such an exciting and historic time for our community," Padilla said in a statement, adding that he takes over "as the Latino community prepares to play a decisive role this November."

The son of immigrant parents from Mexico, Padilla graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering and served later on the Los Angeles City Council, becoming its first Latino president at the age of 28.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), center with his hands up, celebrates passage of a bill last year to streamline review of a football stadium in Los Angeles. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

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