California Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint Emily’s List President Laphonza Butler to fill the remainder of late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s term, making her the only Black woman in the current U.S. Senate and just the third in its history.
Feinstein, 90, died last week following months of poor health. Appointing Butler will allow Newsom to fulfill his pledge to select a Black woman to represent California after Kamala Harris became vice president in 2021, vacating her seat as junior senator.
"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 in a statement late Sunday.