California Governor Gavin Newsom said he would prefer a Black woman to succeed Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in the Senate if she were to retire.
On Joy Reid’s MSNBC show on Monday, the TV host asked the Democratic governor if he would “nominate an African American woman to regain the seat that Kamala Harris no longer occupies in the United States Senate” if he stepped down.
“I have multiple names in mind,” Newsom said. “And the answer is yes.”
Since Harris’s election as vice president in January, there are no Black women in the Senate. A request for comment from the governor’s office about which names he may be considering was not immediately returned. It’s worth remembering that Feinstein has made no indication that she plans to step down anytime soon. Her current term is scheduled to end in January 2025.
Since progressive groups protested Feinstein’s treatment of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, calls for her resignation have become stronger. Feinstein chose not to run for a leadership spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee late last year. Concerns have also been posed about Feinstein’s age — the 87-year-old senator has been a member of the Senate since 1992.
Sen. Alex Padilla was chosen by Newsom to fill Harris’s seat, making him California’s first Latino senator. Many people wanted Harris to be replaced by a Black woman, and names like Reps. Karen Bass and Barbara Lee, as well as San Francisco Mayor London Breed, were floated.
On Twitter, Aimee Allison, the founder of She the People, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of women of color in public office, responded with a resounding “yes!” to Newsom’s remarks.
Allison said, “This is the personal commitment we Black women and women of color in California have been fighting for, and the news we need to hear.”