Several leading black Democrats are criticizing California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) for nominating ETSY president and Democrat mega-donor Laphonza Butler of Maryland to fill the late Dianne Feinstein’s Senate vacancy instead of current Senate candidate Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Butler has lived in California, and owns a home in the state, but lives in Maryland and must register to vote in the Golden State before becoming constitutionally eligible to replace Feinstein.
Lee has been running to replace Feinstein, whose retirement was announced earlier this year. Butler may be able to run for the post as well, once she has taken office, angering Lee’s backers.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
“It’s going to hurt him,” Fred Jordan, chairman of the board of the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, said Sunday. “Those women in South Carolina that gave Joe Biden the bump, they’re gonna be outraged.”
Jordan called Newsom’s appointment of Butler “disingenuous” and said he “has not fulfilled his promise” to appoint a Black woman to the seat. He wanted Newsom to appoint Lee, who he called “the most qualified” person he could have tapped. He slammed Newsom’s comment earlier this month that appointing Lee “would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off. That primary is just a matter of months away, I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”
Molly Watson, deputy director of California Donor Table and a board member for the Black Women’s Democratic Club of Los Angeles County, congratulated Butler, but was also “baffled” that Newsom did not choose Lee.