Sen. Alex Padilla, right, says he is running for secretary of state. (Robert Durell / For the Times )
State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) announced Thursday that he will run for California secretary of state in 2014, joining what looks to be shaping up as a crowded field that includes other current and former lawmakers.
Padilla, 40, was elected to the state Senate in 2006 and must leave the upper house because of term limits next year.
"The strength of our democracy depends on the active involvement of all of our citizens," Padilla said in a statement. "Last November, more than 10 million Californians did not vote. I’m running for secretary of state to change that."
Padilla said his priorities include upgrading the state’s voting systems to use modern technology and making the act of voting more accessible and convenient.
"We must increase the transparency of campaign finance so that voters can easily determine who is funding campaigns and initiatives," Padilla added.
Padilla has a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as president of the Los Angeles City Council before he was elected to state office.
Other Democrats are making moves to run for secretary of state. The two-term incumbent, Debra Bowen, is barred by term limits from seeking reelection.
State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) announced his candidacy for secretary of state in November, while papers to raise money for possible campaigns for the office have also been filed by former state Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara) and former Assemblymen Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) and Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles).
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