State Watch

San Francisco mayor says Harris replacement pick ‘a real blow to the African American community’

San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) said Tuesday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) choice of Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s (D) vacant Senate seat is “a real blow to the African American community.”

When asked about her thoughts on Newsom’s pick by an ABC affiliate, Breed said the decision was a surprise.  

“This is a real blow to the African American community, to African American women, to women in general,” she said, according to ABC 7 News. “It’s really challenging to put it into words, but it was definitely a surprise.”

Breed said that the open seat in California was another opportunity to bolster Black, female representation in the upper chamber. Harris was the first Black woman to hold a Senate seat for the state. 

“And it’s an unfortunate situation as we are trying to move this country forward, and making sure that Black lives truly matter and that African Americans have a seat at the table — especially African American women,” she continued, according to the news outlet. “After what was done in this race on a national level, [it] definitely is unfortunate.”

Breed’s name had circulated as a potential pick to fill the seat, as well as California Democratic Reps. Karen Bass and Barbara Lee, according to ABC 7 News.

Lee thanked those who had supported her potential appointment in a tweet.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) called for Newsom to appoint a Black woman to fill Harris’s seat earlier this month. 

“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,” she wrote on Twitter, mentioning both Lee and Bass.

Newsom is set to appoint Padilla to fill Harris’s seat. He will be the first Latino to represent California in the Senate. 

Tags Alex Padilla Ayanna Pressley Barbara Lee Gavin Newsom Gavin Newsom Kamala Harris Karen Bass senate appointment

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