California Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to select a black female to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

And that’s exactly what Newsom did.

He selected EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler as Feinstein’s successor in the U.S. Senate.

“Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the selection of Laphonza Butler — the President of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to electing women, EMILY’s List — to complete the United States Senate term of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein, which runs through 2024,” Newsom’s office announced.

“A trusted adviser to Vice President Harris and leader of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to electing women, Butler will make history as California’s first openly LGBTQ United States Senator and the first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress in American history,” the press release stated.

EMILY’s List is a political action committee that seeks to elect female Democrat candidates in favor of abortion.

POLITICO writer Christopher Cadelago first had the scoop of the announcement.

“Gavin Newsom will appoint EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler to fill the seat of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, elevating the head of a fundraising juggernaut that works to elect Dem women who support abortion rights, per a person familiar,” Cadelago posted Sunday evening.

“An advocate for women and girls, a second-generation fighter for working people, and a trusted adviser to Vice President Harris, Laphonza Butler represents the best of California, and she’ll represent us proudly in the United States Senate,” said Governor Newsom.

“As we mourn the enormous loss of Senator Feinstein, the very freedoms she fought for — reproductive freedom, equal protection, and safety from gun violence — have never been under greater assault. Laphonza will carry the baton left by Senator Feinstein, continue to break glass ceilings, and fight for all Californians in Washington D.C.”

Cont. from Gavin Newsom’s office:

Butler comes from a working-class family. Her father — a small-business owner — was diagnosed with a terminal illness and died when Butler was 16 years old. Her mother was the household’s sole provider, working as a classroom aide, a home care provider, a security guard, and a bookkeeper to provide for Butler and her two siblings.

With her selection to the Senate, Butler will step down from her role as president of EMILY’s List, where she was the first woman of color and mother to lead the organization. Prior to joining EMILY’s List, Butler ran political campaigns and led strategy efforts for numerous companies, organizations, and elected leaders — including for Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Butler was a key leader of Vice President Harris’s presidential campaign. For more than a decade, she served as the president of the largest labor union in California — SEIU Local 2015 — a union representing more than 325,000 nursing home and home-care workers throughout the state.

Previously, Butler served as President of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) and also as SEIU’s Property Services Division Director, in which she was responsible for the strategic direction of organizing on behalf of more than 250,000 janitors, security officers, window cleaners, and food service workers across the country. Butler also served as an SEIU International Vice President and president of the SEIU California State Council.


Butler was the former director of the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve System. In 2018, she was appointed to the University of California Board of Regents by Governor Jerry Brown, where she served until 2021. She served in various other roles, including as a board member for the National Children’s Defense Fund, BLACK PAC, and the Bay Area Economic Council Institute, and as a fellow for the MIT Community Innovators Lab.

NewsBusters noted Butler’s X profile indicates she lives in Maryland.

“Laphonza grew up in Magnolia, MS, and attended one of the country’s premier HBCUs, Jackson State University. She lives in Maryland with her partner Neneki Lee and their daughter Nylah,” Butler’s EMILY’s List bio previously read.

However, the section stating Butler lives in Maryland was scrubbed from her bio.

“Her FEC filing 31 days ago lists Maryland as her residence and yet Gavin Newsom is naming Laphonza Butler to be a United States Senator representing a state she doesn’t even live in. However corrupt you think politics is, multiply it by a 1,000,000,” Robby Starbuck wrote.

According to MSNBC, Butler resides in Maryland but Newsom’s office said she owns a home in California.

The news outlet said she will switch her voter registration.


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