Newsom pledges to name Black woman to Senate if Feinstein retires

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomNewsom, California lawmakers reach deal on COVID-19 sick pay California bill would require all schoolchildren to be vaccinated against COVID-19 Virginia's Youngkin gets the DeSantis treatment from media MORE (D) pledged Monday that he would appoint a Black woman to replace Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinOvernight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs MORE (D-Calif.) should she choose to retire before her term is up.

In an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid, the governor said that he had several candidates in mind for a potential replacement for Feinstein, 87, who has faced pressure from some progressive Democrats to step down and is no longer the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her current term is up in January 2025.

“We have multiple names in mind, the answer is yes," Newsom said, responding to Reid's question as to whether his appointee would be a Black woman.


Newsom's comments come as he faces his sixth recall campaign as California's governor as well as pressure to nominate a woman of color for the state's next open Senate seat.

Newsom appointed Sen. Alex PadillaAlex PadillaDemocrats ask for information on specialized Border Patrol teams These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products MORE (D-Calif.) to finish the term of Vice President Harris, who was previously elected to her Senate post in 2016.

“The son of Mexican immigrants — a cook and house cleaner — Alex Padilla worked his way from humble beginnings to the halls of MIT, the Los Angeles City Council and the State Senate, and has become a national defender of voting rights as California’s Secretary of State. Now, he will serve in the halls of our nation’s Capitol as California’s next United States Senator," the governor said in December.

Newsom currently faces a recall effort launched by Republicans in the state in response to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and criticism of state-level restrictions on business and public life resulting from the outbreak.

He faced criticism last year after attending a dinner party at the prestigious French Laundry restaurant, which he later said he regretted.