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Gavin Newsom picks LaFonza Butler to fill Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat

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Dianne Feinstein’s influence on Congress

Dianne Feinstein’s legacy, what her death could mean for Congress


California Governor Gavin Newsom has chosen LaFonza Butler to fill the Senate seat vacated by California’s death. Senator Dianne FeinsteinTwo sources familiar with the decision confirmed this to CBS News.

Butler is the president of EMILY’s List, an organization dedicated to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights. Butler was the first woman of color to lead EMILY’s List when she joined the organization in 2021. He previously served as a senior campaign advisor to Kamala Harris during the 2020 presidential campaign. She also served as director of public policy at Airbnb and has a long history as a labor leader.

Butler was not immediately available for comment.

Feinstein, who was 90, had about 15 months left on her term at the time of her death last week. Butler’s early appointment would help shore up Democrats’ narrow majority in the Senate as Congress continues to operate. long term funding for government The shutdown was temporarily postponed over the weekend after a last-minute agreement.

politico Butler’s appointment was first reported.

EMILY's List President LaFonza Butler
EMILY’s List President LaFonza Butler on March 7, 2023.

Araya Doheny/Getty Images for EMILYS List

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this month, Newsom said he would follow through on his pledge to appoint a Black woman to Feinstein’s position, while also saying he hoped she would get the decision. Never have to take it. But Newsom also said he would not fill the seat with one of the Democrats trying to replace Feinstein in the 2024 election, calling such a move “completely unfair to the Democrats who have worked their butts off.” It’s tightened.”

There are no prerequisites that this must be a temporary replacement, so Butler could run for a full term in 2024. Complicating matters, in addition to next year’s scheduled Democratic Senate primary, California voters are expected to hold a special election to choose who to elect as Feinstein concludes the final few months of her term.

Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Katie Porter are among those jumping into the 2024 race after Feinstein. Announced earlier this year That she won’t run away again. It was not immediately clear whether either of them, or Butler, would even run in the expected special election for the remainder of Feinstein’s term.

(tag to translate) Dianne Feinstein


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