Laphonza Butler, the senator who replaced Dianne Feinstein in California, will not run in 2024 | International
California will have a new senator in 2024. Laphonza Butler, the senator who replaced the late Dianne Feinstein in the Upper House, announced this Thursday that she will not run in next year's election. The legislator is the only black woman currently serving in the Senate, where she came proposed by the state's governor, Gavin Newsom. The announcement further heats up the campaign of three high-profile politicians fighting to retain the seat Feinstein held for 31 years in a Democratic stronghold.
Butler announced his decision in a thread on X, formerly known as Twitter. The 44-year-old legislator believes that public servants must be clear when occupying a position of power. “I have been pursuing my clarity for 16 days: what kind of life I want to have, what kind of service I want to offer and the voice I want to have,” she said. In answering these questions she has realized that she is not interested in seeking a full term in the Senate, which lasts six years and begins in January 2025.
“I know this may come as a surprise to many because traditionally we see that those who have power are not willing to let it go,” he added. “It may not be the decision that people expected, but it is the right one for me,” she concluded. Butler now has 383 days left in the term of Feinstein, a veteran senator who died in office at age 90. Butler's mentions of politicians who don't know how to let go apply well to the San Francisco lawmaker.
Butler, who was a political advisor to Kamala Harris and is an experienced Democratic strategist, came to the Senate because of a promise that Gavin Newsom made to the electorate. The president gave California its first Latino senator by naming Alex Padilla as Harris' replacement when she became vice president of the Biden Administration. The appointment was criticized by some sectors and black voters. Newsom promised that if a seat was freed it would be filled by an African-American woman. It took just two days for the governor to appoint Butler after Feinstein's death. The appointment was urgent for Democrats to maintain their fragile majority in the Upper House in Washington.
Butler's departure from the race practically defines the race for a seat held since 1992. Three congressmen have been in competition for several months in hopes of winning the nomination for the November 2024 elections. These are Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff , one of the members of the congressional committee that investigated the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Newsom did not demand Butler stay on the sidelines. He gave her options to compete if she wanted to. Applicants have until December 8 to register for the campaign.
Butler is not a well-known politician in California, as the rest of the candidates are. His candidacy would have created difficulties for the Democrats in a very important place. “Knowing how to win a campaign doesn't always mean you have to run a campaign,” Butler said this Thursday. The local press claims that Barbara Lee, the only black woman in the race, may emerge stronger after the departure of Butler, who is the third black woman to have served in the Senate in history. Lexi Reese, a technology executive, has also shown interest in the process. Like Steve Garvey, a former Dodger pitcher, who plans to run for the Republican party.
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