With a Feinstein replacement officially made, everyone is wondering just how long this newly appointed US senator will stay in office. According to the woman herself, she’ll not be seeking re-election.
We’ll see how long that lasts.
As you likely know, the death of Dianne Feinstein left a gaping hole in the Democratic leadership of California. And one that liberal Governor Gavin Newsom promised to fill with a liberal black woman. Seeing as there are currently no black women from any state in the US Senate, it seemed only appropriate to make sure this demographic was represented in his mind.
Of course, that’s not the only box newly appointed Senator Laphonza Butler checks off. She also identifies as LGBT.
Originally, Newsom declared that whoever he chose to fill Feinstein’s seat would only be a temporary placeholder, seeing as a 2024 election is fast approaching and already has a variety of already announced participants.
However, once his appointee was announced, he made it clear that it was really up to her to decide if she was only going to be filling in until the election or if she would be making a run at keeping Feinstein’s recently vacated chair.
As I mentioned above, Butler has chosen to go the former route, at least for now.
According to a post made to her X account on Thursday, she believes “elected leaders should have real clarity about why they’re in office and what they want to do with the responsibility and power they have.” And so, regardless of the fact that she’s not been “elected,” she’s apparently “spent the last 16 days pursuing my own clarity.”
What she has decided is that she will not “run for a full term in the US Senate.” As she explained, “Knowing you can win a campaign doesn’t always mean you should run a campaign.”
Well, I have to agree with that. As I’ve always told my children, ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.’ The two are very different things and can have very different outcomes.
As Butler stated, the decision may be a surprise to some. However, it is what she feels is right for her. Again, at least for now.
Until 2024, she is vowing to serve California voters and “the issues they care most about.”
“I now have 383 days to serve the people of California with every ounce of energy and effort that I have.”
It may not be the decision people expected but it's the right one for me.
California voters want leaders who think about them and the issues they care most about. I now have 383 days to serve the people of California with every ounce of energy and effort that I have.
— Laphonza Butler (@LaphonzaB) October 19, 2023
Again, that’s not a bad thing. And it might put a great number of Californians at ease a bit more. After all, Butler really isn’t even a Californian. Unlike Feinstein and every other state lawmaker, she is actually from Maryland, where she has lived for a number of years with her partner while heading up the pro-abortion group Emily’s List.
Sure, she used to live in the Golden State, even owning property there. But as many pointed out shortly following her appointment, she isn’t a true Californian.
And yet, she, of all people, has been chosen by Newsom to represent his constituents.
Naturally, this made a good many Californians uneasy and even quite upset about Butler’s new promotion. Most notable is California Representative Barbara Lee, who has already announced a bid to run for Feinstein’s seat in 2024 and is a black woman and what most would call a true Californian.
But since Newsom promised not to get involved with the 2024 election, it meant neither Lee nor her two opponents, Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, would be chosen.
Of course, it’s not like Lee will get the seat anyway, if polling is any indication. Currently, she finds herself pretty much dead last, at seven percent of the vote, while Porter has 17 percent and Schiff 20.
Hell, even former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garney has the same percentage points as Lee so far. And he’s a Republican in a deep blue state…
In any case, Lee’s anger is likely subsided somewhat by Butler’s announcement to not run for a full term.