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 PressleyHolding back on defensive systems for Israel could have dangerous consequences Warren, Bush offer bill to give HHS power to impose eviction moratorium Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE (D-Mass.) urged California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia to replace 'alien' with 'noncitizen,' 'immigrant' in state laws The Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP California to launch program tracking violent deaths in LGBTQ+ community MORE (D) to appoint a woman of color to Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTwo 'View' hosts test positive for coronavirus ahead of Harris interview Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report Biden taps big bank skeptic to for top regulatory post 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 LeeOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — The Quad confab The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassTim Scott says police reform talks collapsed with Dems over funding Democrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report 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 PadillaHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks 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 BecerraBipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy Bottom line Overnight Health Care — FDA panel backs boosters for some, but not all MORE is confirmed as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system 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.