Vice President Kamala Harris swore in Laphonza Butler on Tuesday to replace the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
Following Feinstein’s passing last week, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Butler, the president of pro-abortion group EMILYs List, to fill the seat. Butler could decide to run for a full term in 2024, where several high profile California Democrats are already in the running, including Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee.
“I am honored to accept Gov. Newsom’s nomination to be a U.S. Senator for a state I have long called home. I am humbled by the Governor’s trust. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s leadership and legacy are immeasurable. I will do my best to honor her by devoting my time and energy to serving the people of California and the people of this great nation,” Butler said in a statement Monday. “For women and girls, for workers and unions, for struggling parents waiting for our leaders to bring opportunity back to their homes, for all of California, I’m ready to serve.”
Prior to her time as president of the group that is tasked with electing pro-abortion Democratic women, Butler was a Democratic strategist who advised both presidential campaigns of Harris and Hillary Clinton. Butler also served as president of California’s largest organized labor group, the state’s chapter of the Service Employees International Union.
The newly-sworn in senator has garnered backlash on social media for appearing not to live in California, with her Twitter account‘s previous location and a Federal Election Commission filing stating she was recently a resident of Maryland.
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