California Gov. Newsom Appoints New Senator - State and Federal Communications

October 2, 2023  •  

California Gov. Newsom Appoints New Senator

California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

Gov. Gavin Newsom has picked Laphonza Butler to fill Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat.

Butler is the current president of Emily’s List, a national political organization that focuses on electing Democratic women who support abortion access.

She previously served as president of a labor union and as an advisor to Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign.

Butler also has political ties to Newsom, as she was a partner in the political consulting firm now known as Bearstar Strategies that is run by the governor’s veteran strategists Ace Smith, Sean Clegg, and Juan Rodriguez.

Butler is only a short-term caretaker of the seat, with the position being voted on the 2024 ballot.

None of the three front runners were chosen for the appointment. Newsom stated he did not want to play favorites ahead of the 2024 election.


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