ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Democrats’ fragile majority in the U.S. Senate puts extra pressure on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to quickly pick a replacement for Sen. Dianne Feinstein following her death, a fraught decision for a two-term governor with national ambitions of his own.
The Democratic governor had promised to appoint a Black woman in 2021 as concerns grew about Feinstein’s declining health. He also has said he would avoid the field of candidates already campaigning for the post, which will be on the ballot next year and includes Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the state’s most prominent Black women currently serving in elected office.
In a letter on Friday, the NAACP told Newsom, “Now the time has come for you to keep your promise.”
“When you openly promised to appoint an African American woman to Sen. Feinstein’s seat if given the opportunity, the entire African American community in California and around the nation celebrated,” said the letter, signed by President Derrick Johnson and Rick Callender, who heads the California-Hawaii conference.
Aimee Allison, who founded She the People, a political advocacy network for women of color, said in a statement that “there is no clearer choice for this appointment than Rep. Lee.”