The governor of California said that putting Rep. Barbara Lee in the U.S. Senate would be unfair to the other people running for the job.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that he will not select Rep. Barbara Lee to the U.S. Senate if Dianne Feinstein leaves before the end of her term.
“I don’t want to get involved in the primary,” Newsom said in a taped interview that will air Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” It was the strongest sign yet that he wanted a placeholder for the Senate.
Newsom, a Democrat from California, told host Chuck Todd that appointing someone who would run for reelection in 2024 would be unfair to the other candidates, like Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff.
“It would be very unfair to the Democrats, who have worked hard. The primary is coming up in just a few months. “I don’t want to change that,” Newsom said in the interview.
When asked if he would keep his promise to choose a Black woman for the spot, Newsom said he would. “We hope we never have to make this choice, but I always stick to what I’ve said in the public eye. He said, “Yes.”
In both public and private polls, Lee is more than 10 points behind her Democratic opponents, Porter and Schiff. Some of her fans have held out hope that Newsom would choose Lee to finish out Feinstein’s term if that became necessary. Now that it looks like that won’t happen, Lee will have a hard time getting ahead because the others have a lot more money.
Feinstein and Newsom have been friends for a long time, and Newsom gave several reasons why he hopes he won’t have to make the choice. He said that it’s up to Feinstein to decide if she should stay in Washington or not, and he compared her to a member of his own family. Feinstein, who is 90, has had a lot of health problems and fell at her home in San Francisco not long ago. Her family is in a bitter court fight over the estate of her late husband. Last year, he died.
“I’m the most biased person in the world about this subject. “I can’t look at the senator with any kind of objectivity,” Newsom said. Since I was a child, I’ve known Dianne Feinstein. I did a college internship with her. I still have a book that she signed for me when she was mayor.”
Newsom has already chosen Alex Padilla, the state’s junior senator and a Democrat, to fill Kamala Harris’s spot as vice president. Newsom also chose Attorney General Rob Bonta when Xavier Becerra went back to Washington to become Health and Human Services Secretary in the Biden administration. And Newsom chose Shirley Weber to replace Padilla as California’s Secretary of State. She is the first African American to serve as the state’s top elections official.
“I don’t want to make another appointment, and I don’t think the people of California want me to make another appointment,” said Newsom. “I’ve set up a lot of meetings.”
But he said, “It’s my job, it’s my duty. “We’ll do it if we have to.”