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POLITICS

Who will replace Dianne Feinstein in the US Senate?

Senator Dianne Feinstein had announced that she would not seek another term before her death, but who could fill the seat until the 2024 election?

Update:
Senator Dianne Feinstein had announced that she would not seek another term before her death, but who could fill the seat until the 2024 election?
DAVID SWANSONREUTERS

The longest-serving woman senator, Dianne Feinstein, has passed away at ninety.

The senator’s health had been an open question in Washington, with various members of her own party calling on her to resign. Unwilling at first, the senator eventually announced that she would retire at the end of her current term. High-profile Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, including Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, and Katie Porter, have all announced that they will be running for the seat left open by her retirement.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who will be tasked with appointing an interim senator to fill the seat left vacant, issued a statement emphasizing the close relationship he had developed with the late senator.

“Dianne Feinstein was many things – a powerful, trailblazing U.S. Senator; an early voice for gun control; a leader in times of tragedy and chaos. But to me, she was a dear friend, a lifelong mentor, and a role model not only for me, but to my wife and daughters for what a powerful, effective leader looks like.

Gavin Newsom, California Governor

Governor Gavin Newsom will appoint an interim senator

To avoid putting his hand on the scale, Gov. Newsom has said he will not nominate any of the candidates running in 2024 Senate Race.

When Vice Presidnet Kamala Harris’ seat was left vacated, Gov. Newsom tapped then-Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the seat. When the seat came up for election in 2022, Senator Padilla won, removing his interim status. After nominating Sec. Padilla, the governor, committed to nominating a Black woman to the Senate if given the chance.

If Gov. Newsom took a similar path as last time, Secretary of State Shirley Weber could be nominated to fill the vacant seat. Shirley Weber, in addition to being immensely qualified, is a Black woman. Before stepping into her current role, Secretary Weber was a member of the California Assembly, representing the state’s 79th district encompassing San Diego and the suburbs to the east. Before entering politics, Secretary Weber was professor Weber, having earned her Ph.D. in communication from UC Los Angeles.

However, when asked about the possibility of filling another vacant seat, Gov. Newsom said he has a list of qualified candidates from which any could be selected.