Pressley urges Newsom to appoint a Black woman to Harris's seat

Pressley urges Newsom to appoint a Black woman to Harris's seat
© Reuters/Pool

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley says image of Black custodial staff cleaning up Capitol after Jan. 6 riot 'haunts' her DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes DeJoy set for grilling by House Oversight panel MORE (D-Mass.) urged California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomWhite House says Shalanda Young could serve as acting OMB director California to set aside 40 percent of vaccine doses for areas most at risk Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief MORE (D) to appoint a woman of color to Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala Harris Harris speaks with Netanyahu amid ICC probe Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill Why is Joe Biden dodging the public and the press? MORE’s Senate seat once she assumes the office in January.

“We absolutely cannot go backwards. With the election of @KamalaHarris to VP-elect, @CAgovernor must prioritize this leadership, perspective & representation in the vacated U.S. Senate seat & appoint a Black woman," Pressley wrote in a tweet on Tuesday, tagging Democratic California Reps. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeePro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget Progressives push White House to overturn wage ruling Lawmakers, Martin Luther King III discuss federal responses to systematic racism MORE and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassHouse approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Lobbying world MORE.


Lee and Bass, representing the state’s 13th and 37th districts, respectively, have both received support from the California Legislative Black Caucus to be appointed to fill Harris's Senate seat.

Lee has indicated interest in the role, tweeting in November:


With Harris’s win in the 2020 presidential election, Newsom has been given a rare opportunity to reshape California politics. Several progressive officials have been pushed forward to receive the appointment, with California Secretary of State Alex PadillaAlex PadillaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls FBI director faces lawmaker frustration over Capitol breach Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package MORE (D) seen as the most likely replacement.

If selected by Newsom, Padilla would be the first person of Latin descent to represent California in the Senate, and his appointment would also allow the governor to select his replacement as secretary of state.

Newsom is also expected to get the chance to appoint a new state attorney general if Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Health Care: Biden slams Texas, Mississippi for lifting coronavirus restrictions: 'Neanderthal thinking' | Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra |Over 200K sign up for ACA plans during Biden special enrollment period Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra GOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra MORE is confirmed as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE's secretary of Health and Human Services.

Harris is currently the only Black woman serving in the Senate and only the second ever, following Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.), who left office in 1999.

Last week, Newsom received a letter from two women's group, Politico reports, asking him to ensure that Harris's seat goes to a Black woman. More than 100 women affiliated with Black Women United signed the letter.

“Black women have continuously been credited with saving the Democratic Party. By retaining the only seat held in the United States Senate by a Black woman, California has an opportunity to do more than just thank Black women,’’ said the letter.