California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed EMILY’s List president Laphonza Butler to fill the Senate seat left vacant after the death of Dianne Feinstein.
The move adheres to Newsom’s 2021 promise to fill an open seat by appointing a Black woman. It also comes after the Governor promised in early September to appoint a caretaker to a Senate seat left empty by Feinstein, saying it would be “completely unfair” to tap a candidate so close to the 2024 primary. That pledge has since been walked back.
“That primary is just a matter of months away,” Newsom had said, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”
A spokesperson for Newsom previously confirmed to Insider that the new appointee to replace Dianne Feinstein in the Senate will be eligible to run for a full term in 2024, a reversal of his original pledge to appoint a caretaker.
Progressives had been pressuring the Governor to tap Rep. Barbara Lee for the seat.
Representatives from Newsom’s office confirmed Butler’s appointment to Insider but did not offer any additional statement regarding the Governor’s choice.
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