Governor Gavin Newsom today nominated Assemblyman Rob Bonta to be California’s next Attorney General, filling the vacancy created when Xavier Becerra was confirmed as President Biden’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.  If confirmed by majorities of the State Senate and Assembly (see here), Bonta will be the state’s first Filipino-American Attorney General.

Justice Goodwin Liu had been prominently mentioned as a possible nominee and he garnered many significant endorsements.  Justice Liu and Bonta were classmates at Yale Law School.

Liu issued this statement in response to the Governor’s announcement:

I am delighted and proud to see my friend and law school classmate Rob Bonta nominated for Attorney General.  California is fortunate to have such talented and diverse leaders in public service, and this nomination is especially meaningful for Asian Americans, especially particularly at a time when our community is experiencing great vulnerability and many are fearing for their safety.  Our Chief Justice last week underscored the continuing need to tackle “the disease of racism,” and I’ve always known Rob to be a strong leader in combatting discrimination and protecting the rights of all persons, including groups that for too long have been marginalized or ignored.

One possible reason for Liu not having been chosen is his relative lack of political campaign experience.  He did prevail in a statewide 2014 retention election, but that was an uncontested, nonpartisan, yes/no vote, while the new Attorney General will likely face considerable opposition — possibly from both Democrats and Republicans — on the ballot next year.

Related:

“Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu Would Be a Stellar California Attorney General”

“A Proven Advocate for Kids: California’s Goodwin Liu” (and more links there)