Newsom to tap Laphonza Butler, top Dem fundraiser, to replace Feinstein

Days after Sen. Dianne Feinstein passed, Gov. Gavin Newsom is holding up his vow to appoint a black woman to fill her seat.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will select EMILY’s List president Laphonza Butler to fill the seat of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, per a Sunday night report from Politico.

Butler, a longtime labor leader who joined the Democratic fundraising juggernaut, was rumored to be the selection by Newsom, who had previously vowed to select a black woman not running for the seat in 2024.


Driving the news: The move to select Butler, a powerhouse fundraiser in Democratic circles undoubtedly shakes up the three-man 2024 race to replace Feinstein.

  • Per the report, Newsom tapped Butler ”without putting limitations or preconditions on his pick running for the seat in 2024.”
  • That provision would enable Butler to seek the seat herself in 2024 against a field that includes Reps. Adam Schiff (D–Pasadena), Katie Porter (D–Irvine), and Lee.

Whoops: Despite the rumors, Butler’s current social media presence did not seem to be prepared for the late Sunday night news, with her X profile listing her home as being in Maryland.

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