Home Latest News Gavin Newsom selects Laphonza Butler as Feinstein’s successor in 13 words.

Gavin Newsom selects Laphonza Butler as Feinstein’s successor in 13 words.

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Gavin Newsom selects Laphonza Butler as Feinstein’s successor in 13 words.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has chosen Laphonza Butler, a veteran organizer and close ally, to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the recent death of Senator Dianne Feinstein. Newsom’s selection of Butler fulfills his promise to name a Black woman to the position, following the departure of Kamala Harris to the vice presidency and his selection of Sen. Alex Padilla to Harris’ old seat. However, Newsom faced considerable pressure in making this decision, with potential nominees publicly expressing disinterest and concerns about launching a short-term campaign. By appointing Butler swiftly, Newsom cuts off efforts by politicians and interest groups to lobby for their preferred candidate.

Laphonza Butler is no stranger to Newsom’s inner circle, having been considered for the role of chief of staff and being a former partner at a consulting firm with his top political advisers. She is also a confidant of Vice President Kamala Harris, having served as a senior strategist on her 2020 presidential campaign. Butler’s extensive experience includes working as a labor leader with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and serving on the University of California Board of Regents. Notably, Butler is also the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate. While the upcoming Senate campaign will be a challenge, given the presence of well-known candidates like Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee, Butler could prove to be a formidable contender.

Newsom’s appointment of Butler is part of his larger effort to reshape California’s political landscape. This appointment marks the fourth high-profile nomination made by the governor, including the selection of both U.S. Senate seats, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Secretary of State Shirley Weber. Although Newsom expressed neither expectation nor desire to make this appointment, the declining health of Senator Feinstein necessitated the decision. Newsom’s passion for keeping Feinstein in office was driven by the fear that Senate Republicans would use her vacancy to block judicial confirmations prioritized by President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Overall, Newsom’s selection of Butler not only fulfills a promise but also contributes to the diversification and transformation of California’s political establishment.

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