SAN FRANCISCO (2UG) – This is the day California Governor Gavin Newsom thought wouldn’t come before voters go to the polls in 2024.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992 to become the first woman to represent California in that body, died at her home in Washington, D.C., Thursday night, her chief of staff confirmed Friday. She was 90.
“Sadly, Senator Feinstein passed away last night at her home in Washington, D.C. Her passing is a great loss for so many, from those who loved and cared for her to the people of California that she dedicated her life to serving,” James Sauls, Feinstein’s chief of staff, said in a statement.
“Senator Feinstein never backed away from a fight for what was just and right. At the same time, she was always willing to work with anyone, even those she disagreed with, if it meant bettering the lives of Californians or the betterment of our nation.”
Newsom pledged to appoint a black woman to the seat should Feinstein step down. Unfortunately, she has died leaving a vacancy in the seat.
Newsom caught some flack earlier this month when he appeared on Meet the Press and alluded to only wanting to appoint a caretaker should it come down to him having to do so.
in a taped exchange with NBC’s Chuck Todd in the downtown Sacramento governor’s mansion, the conversation turned to Feinstein, with Todd asking the obvious question: Would Newsom appoint a replacement if necessary?
“Yeah,” said Newsom. “Interim appointment. I do not want to get involved in the primary.”
Newsom pledged to appoint a black woman to Feinstein’s seat should she retire before her term ended.
When pressed on whether he would appoint one of the candidates currently running for the seat, in an obvious attempt to get Newsom to say he would appoint Lee, he pivoted.
“That would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off. That primary is just a matter of months away,” the governor said.
Rep. Barbara Lee is the most likely choice to be appointed. Will Gavin Newsom keep his word?
City News Service contributed to this report.