California Gov. Gavin Newsom named Laphonza Butler as Dianne Feinstein’s replacement in the Senate after Feinstein died last week at 90 years old. Butler is a longtime Democratic advisor and activist and is the third Black woman and second out lesbian to serve in the Senate.
Butler will remain in the Senate until California holds two concurrent Senate elections in 2024—the first will be a special election to decide who will finish out Feinstein’s term and the second election will determine who will be appointment for the following term.
“An advocate for women and girls, a second-generation fighter for working people, and a trusted adviser to Vice President Harris, Laphonza Butler represents the best of California and she’ll represent us proudly in the United States Senate,” Newsom said.
Butler has advised Vice President Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton and is currently the president of EMILY’s List, a pro-choice women’s fundraising group, which Gov. Newsom said she will step down from, Causes.com reported. She also is a former labor leader with SEIU 2015.
“Gov. Newsom’s swift action ensures that Californians maintain full representation in the Senate as we navigate a narrow Democratic majority,” Sen. Alex Padilla said