Laphonza Butler Appointed to Feinstein Senate Seat


California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday selected Laphonza Butler Laphonza Butler, an experienced Democratic strategist and advisor of Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign for the vacant U.S. Senate seat held by late Senator. Dianne Feinstein.

In selecting Butler, Newsom fulfilled his commitment to select the position to a Black woman to the seat if it was made open. But, he was under pressure from Black political figures and advocacy groups to pick Rep. Barbara Lee, a prominent Black congresswoman who is currently running for the seat.

Butler will be the sole Black woman within the U.S. Senate, and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent California in the Senate.

Newsom stated in a statement that the goals Feinstein was a champion of in Congress — freedom of reproduction as well as equal protection from gun violence. from gun violence were under attack across the United States. “Laphonza will carry the baton left by Sen. Feinstein (and) continue to break glass ceilings and fight for all Californians in Washington D.C.,” Newsom said.

Butler manages Emily’s List, a political group that is a supporter of Democratic women who support abortion rights. Butler was also an former labor leader in SEIU 2015, a powerful powerhouse in California politics.

Her selection creates a possible tense political situation in the competitive 2024 race to succeed Feinstein that has been in the works from the start of this year.

Newsom spokesperson Anthony York said the governor did not solicit Butler to pledge to stay from the contest. The deadline for applicants to submit documents to run for office is December. 8. If Butler be a candidate she may set up an election for the small, but significant segment comprised of Black people in California and could even undermine Lee’s chances.

Emily’s List is known as an effective fundraiser and is able to raise huge amounts of campaign money is essential in any state-wide California race. Newsom’s statement stated that she would quit the organization.

The vote was accompanied by the risk of political repercussions for Newsom who is seen as a possible presidential candidate. The choice of Black voters has been able to win the nomination of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate every time since the year 1992. In 1992, the Congressional Black Caucus was among the organizations and Black politicians who had called on Newsom to choose Lee as the best candidate to fill the position.

Long-serving Feinstein passed away last Thursday at the age of 90 following several illnesses.

Butler is currently living in Maryland According the Emily’s List profile. Izzy Gardon, a spokesman for Newsom has said that Butler has a house in California. She’s expected to reregister as a voter in California before she is sworn in. It could happen as soon on Tuesday night, when the Senate is scheduled to resume its session.

Butler did not immediately reply to an inquiry via email or issue an official statement.

Democrats hold The Democrats hold the Senate 51-49, even though Feinstein’s seat is not filled. An appointment that is quick by Newsom will allow members of the Democratic caucus more room to maneuver in tight votes, such as nominations which Republicans consistently oppose.

Feinstein Feinstein, who is the oldest female member in Congress as well as the longest serving female in the Senate Feinstein, the oldest member of Congress and longest-serving senator in the Senate, announced in she will not run for the seat again in 2024. Lee is among the prominent Democrats that are vying for the Senate seat which includes Democratic U.S. Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff. Newsom declared that he would not intend to nominate one of the candidates as it could give the candidates disadvantage in the election.

Butler has never been elected to office, but she has a long experience in California politics. She was a top advisor to Harris’s presidential campaign in 2020 while working for a political firm that was staffed by strategists who have worked with Newsom as well as other notable state Democrats. Additionally, she worked as a private-sector employee at Airbnb.

She described Feinstein “a legendary figure for women in politics and around the country,” in an announcement made after Feinstein’s passing.

Emily’s List, the group Butler manages, focuses on the election of Democratic women who are pro-abortion rights. In the wake of this year’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision of 2022 to revoke the constitutional rights of women to have abortions The issue has now become an important issue for a lot of Democrats.

Equality California, the nation’s largest state-wide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization said that this appointment “will give our … community another voice in Congress at a time when our rights and freedoms are under attack across the country.”

This isn’t the first time Newsom has had the privilege of choosing the position of a U.S. senator, after being asked to select the replacement for Kamala Harris, who got elected as vice president. at the time, he chose California Secretary of State Alex Padilla for the post. This was just one of many appointments Newsom made in the latter half of 2020 and into 2021, an appointment that earned him the title of Kingmaker among California’s ambitious Democrats.

The seat is likely to remain in Democratic control until 2024’s election. Democrats in the state that lean liberal haven’t lost elections in the state since 2006. The party has a near two-to-one advantage in voter registration over Republicans.