Replacement for Dianne Feinstein Sworn In

Replacement for Dianne Feinstein Sworn In

( – On Friday, September 29, Sen. Dianne Feinstein‘s (D-CA) office issued a brief statement announcing that the iconic lawmaker died at her Washington, DC, home the previous evening. In 1992, she became the first woman to represent California in the US Senate and was the longest-tenured senator for the state and the longest-serving female senator in history.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced his decision to appoint Laphonza Butler to serve almost the entire remainder of Feinstein’s term. At the time of her appointment, Butler was the president of EMILY’s List, the country’s largest group dedicated to electing Democratic females who favor abortion rights to public office.

Newsom praised Butler’s years-long work as a “second-generation fighter” for working-class Americans, saying she “represents the best of California.” He also expressed his confidence that Butler is up to the challenge of carrying the “baton left by Senator Feinstein” and will continue to “break glass ceilings [and] fight for all Californians” in the nation’s capital.

Butler recently took the oath of office and assumed her place in the nation’s upper chamber, considered by many the world’s greatest deliberative body.

Dianne Feinstein’s Replacement Sworn In

On October 2, Vice President Kamala Harris swore Butler into office during a brief ceremony on the Senate floor. Butler is a longtime senior advisor to Harris.

Butler’s wife, Neneki Lee, held the Bible. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) stood alongside Harris and Butler as she raised her right hand to take the oath of office. Senators burst into applause as the newest member of the Senate signed her name, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shook her hand.

Schumer invoked Feinstein’s memory, telling members that she would have been proud to observe someone “as brilliant… accomplished, and history-making” as Butler to serve until the special election in November 2024. President Joe Biden reportedly called her later in the day to offer his congratulations.

The 44-year-old women’s rights activist and labor leader is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as a US Senator and the first Black lesbian to serve in Congress openly. She is also the second Black woman to represent California in the Senate.

When Newsom didn’t place any conditions on Butler’s appointment. That means she is free to run to keep her seat in the upcoming 2024 general and special elections. However, she recently told the Los Angeles Times that she is undecided about running for a full term. So far, California Democratic Representatives Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff have announced their campaigns for Feinstein’s seat.

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