Feinstein’s Death Intensifies Fight for a Coveted California Senate Seat

From the office of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein

By Adam Nagourney and Shawn Hubler | New York Times

The death of Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat, immediately turns the spotlight to an intense, ongoing three-way battle to replace her, fraught with racial, political and generational tensions over one of the most coveted positions in California and national politics.

It also puts new pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom, who will chose someone to fill her seat. Mr. Newsom, whose profile has risen in national Democratic politics in recent weeks as he has traveled the country on behalf of President Biden’s re-election campaign, had come under fire for announcing he would not pick any of the declared candidates in filling any vacancy, so as not to elevate them and give them an advantage.

Mr. Newsom had originally promised to pick a Black woman to fill the position if it opened up, and many Democrats thought he would turn to Representative Barbara Lee, a progressive. But Mr. Newsom said he would pick a caretaker senator instead. “I don’t want to get involved in the primary,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Ms. Lee denounced Mr. Newsom for that decision, calling it insulting.


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