Monday, June 17, 2024

Newsom Selects Laphonza Butler to Finish Feinstein’s Term

Laphonza Butler
EMILYs List President Laphonza Butler attends EMILYs List’s 2023 Pre-Oscars Breakfast at The Beverly Hilton on March 07, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images for EMILYs List)

*Governor Gavin Newsom will name Democratic strategist Laphonza Butler to fill the late U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat, The Huffington Post reports.

Butler currently lives in Maryland and served as an adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris before becoming president at Emily’s List, a national organization dedicated to helping women win political office.  Additionally, she was a leader of a powerful labor union in California, SEIU 2015.

Feinstein passed away last Thursday at the age of 90 after a series of illnesses. An adviser to the governor, Anthony York, told POLITICO that Butler could join the growing field of Democratic candidates seeking to succeed Feinstein. 

Democratic control of the seat is likely to continue in 2024. Butler will serve until January 2025, when Feinstein’s sixth term in the chamber ends. After that, voters will choose a senator for the next six-year term. 

Last month on “Meet the Press,” Newsom said he would appoint an interim replacement rather than name someone running in the March 5 primary, Yahoo reports. The governor’s suggestion that Feinstein’s potential seat filler would be only a “caretaker” was met with harsh criticism, MSNBC reports. 

“I am troubled by the Governor’s remarks. The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election,” Democratic Representative and Senate candidate Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, wrote on X (formally Twitter).

She continued: “The perspective of Black women in the US Senate is sorely needed—and needed for more than a few months. Governor Newsom knows this, which is why he made the pledge in the first place. If the Governor intends to keep his promise and appoint a Black woman to the Senate, the people of California deserve the best possible person for that job. Not a token appointment.”

READ MORE: Oprah’s Name Dropped as Potential Feinstein Replacement

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