Newsom pledges to name Black woman to Senate if Feinstein retires

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) pledged Monday that he would appoint a Black woman to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (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 Padilla (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.

Tags Alex Padilla Dianne Feinstein Gavin Newsom
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