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California Gov. Gavin Newsom Picks Laphonza Butler As Dianne Feinstein’s Successor

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California Governor Gavin Newson has appointed Laphonza Butler as Sen. Diane Feinstein replacement.
California Governor Gavin Newson has appointed Laphonza Butler as Sen. Diane Feinstein replacement. (Photos via Archive)

California Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler as the replacement for the late Senator Dianne Feinstein, who passed away on September 28.

“I’m proud to announce California’s new United States Senator — Laphonza Butler,” Newsom said. As we mourn the enormous loss of Sen. Feinstein, the very freedoms she fought for — reproductive freedom, equal protection, and safety from gun violence — have never been under greater assault. Laphonza has spent her entire career fighting for women and girls and has been a fierce advocate for working people.”

This decision not only makes Butler the lone Black woman in the Senate but also marks her as the first LGBTQ+ individual to represent California in this legislative body. Feinstein, a trailblazer for women in politics, held the distinction of being the oldest senator.

Less than two months after expressing his intent to appoint a Black woman to fill Feinstein’s remaining term until the November 2024 elections, Newsom has fulfilled his promise. The Governor chose Butler, a strategist and the first Black woman to lead Emily’s List, a fundraising organization supporting female candidates who champion reproductive rights.

In his announcement, Newsom praised Butler for her advocacy for women and working people, emphasizing her role as “the first Black lesbian to openly serve in the U.S. Senate.”

Butler, with a strong political career spanning nearly 15 years, brings a wealth of experience to the table, having led California’s largest labor union and advised Vice President Kamala Harris.

Senator Feinstein passed away last week at her home in Washington, D.C. at the age of 90. She is remembered as a multifaceted force of nature, leaving behind an undeniable and extraordinary legacy.

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