All eyes are on California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) following the death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Friday, to see if he will make good on his promise to appoint a black woman to her seat.
On March 15, 2021, Newsom was asked by MSNBC host Joy Reid if he would consider nominating an African American woman to replace then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), as Breitbart News reported.
Newsom replied, “We have multiple names in mind, the answer is yes.”
The appointment would be through 2024, when the seat is up for election.
Three high profile Democrats are running for the seat — including a black woman. They are Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff. They are facing off for a March 5 primary, when the top two candidates advance. Lee is currently trailing Porter and Schiff.
Newsom has said he would not appoint any of the current candidates to the position, ruling out Lee. He told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that it would be an “interim appointment.”
“I don’t want to get involved in the primary,” Newsom said. “It would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off. That primary is just a matter of months away. I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”
Lee had called the idea of appointing a black woman only on an interim basis “insulting.”
Lee posted on X: “I am troubled by the Governor’s remarks. The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election.”
I am troubled by the Governor’s remarks. The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election. https://t.co/Q5Q3jznuFd
— Barbara Lee (@BarbaraLeeForCA) September 11, 2023