Mar 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Newsom commits to appointing Black woman to fill Feinstein's seat if she retires

California Gov. Gavin Newsom committed on Monday night to appointing a Black woman to fill Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat if the 87-year-old Democrat decides to retire before she's up for re-election in 2024.

Why it matters: There are currently no Black women serving in the U.S. Senate, after Newsom tapped former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Sen. Kamala Harris' seat when she was elected vice president.

The big picture: Newsom, who launched a campaign this week to counter a growing Republican-led recall effort against him, told MSNBC's Joy Reid that he has "multiple names in mind" for Black women who could potentially replace Feinstein.

  • Feinstein was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and is currently the oldest sitting U.S. senator.
  • She announced in November that she would step down as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, after drawing backlash for her approach to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Go deeper: The racial breakdown of the Senate

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