April 14, 2024
Butler is expected to be sworn in Tuesday by Vice President Kamala Harris, according to the Governor's Office.

The two U.S. Senate candidates from Southern California had similar messages after the governor announced his pick of Democratic strategist Laphonza Butler to fill Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat.

“I want to offer my congratulations to Laphonza Butler on her appointment. I look forward to working closely with her to get things done for California,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.

“As a labor leader, Laphonza Butler has spent her career standing up for women and working families. … I look forward to fighting for California with her,” said Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine.

Newsom announced his pick of Butler — an advisor to Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign and the leader of Emily’s List, a political organization that supports Democratic women who support abortion rights — Sunday evening. The longest-serving senator, Feinstein died on Thursday after a series of illnesses.

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Newsom has been under pressure regarding who he would appoint to the seat. After pledging to appoint a Black woman should the seat become open, Newsom had been encouraged to pick Rep. Barbara Lee, a prominent Black woman who is already running for the seat.

“I wish (Butler) well and look forward to working closely with her to deliver for the Golden State. I am singularly focused on winning my campaign for Senate,” Lee said on the social media platform X, which was formerly called Twitter.

California, the Oakland representative said, “deserves an experienced senator who will deliver on progressive priorities. That’s exactly what I’m running to do.”

Schiff said he is “glad the governor acted quickly with his appointment.”

And Porter, in her statement, noted: “She will be the third Black woman to serve in the Senate and will also be California’s first lesbian senator at a time when LGBTQ+ Americans are increasingly under attack.”

Butler is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday by Harris, the vice president, according to the Governor’s Office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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