Meet Our New California Senator — Laphonza Butler

by on October 2, 2023 · 8 comments

in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected Laphonza Butler, a Democratic strategist and adviser to Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign, to fill the U.S. Senate seat made vacant by the death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

In choosing Butler on Sunday, Newsom fulfilled his pledge to appoint a Black woman if Feinstein’s seat became open. However, he had been facing pressure from some Black politicians and advocacy groups to select Barbara Lee, a prominent Black congresswoman who is already running for the seat.

Butler will be the only Black woman serving in the U.S. Senate and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent California in the chamber. KPBS


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Paulette October 2, 2023 at 9:33 pm

In a state where women outnumber men you would think that our Governor could have chosen a black woman who actually lives in CA. Laphonza Butler lives in MD but owns a house in CA.


Carl M Zanolli October 3, 2023 at 8:13 am

Just another small part of Newsom’s grand plan to bestride the American political system like a colossus to beat back the MAGA threat, win election into the White House and exercise power into the next decade.


retired botanist October 3, 2023 at 6:04 pm

Paulette, the reason Butler lives in MD is b/c this is where her current job w/ Emily’s List was HQ’d. Personally, I don’t like the idea of selecting a candidate based on gender or color 1st, rather than quals, but then, unbelievably, this is still the culture of continued discrimination we live in. Newsom had to avoid the top 3- Schiff, Porter, and Lee so that he didn’t tip the scales in the upcoming senate seat race. FWIW, I’m team Porter, and I don’t think Butler has enough Govt experience to match those 3 contenders, but given the constraints, Newsom picked a person w/ (ugh, excepting her exec position w/ AirBnB) a good record of advocacy in her various endeavors. So let’s not sweat the hrs logged in whatever dwelling too much…seems to be a trait of all these multiple home owner politicians….


William Louis Fornaciari October 4, 2023 at 11:32 pm

A good move by the governor, he has kept his pledge to appoint a black woman. Let’s see how she does; then, if she also decides to run for the office the people of California can select from four excellent candidates.


Mateo October 5, 2023 at 3:31 pm

Barbara Lee was obviously the most qualified and best possible representative choice. Which is why Governor Real Estate Monopolist pushed an inexperienced out-of-state candidate that not one Californian, in fact no one, had even mentioned wanting in the interim or otherwise, into office.


Frank Gormlie October 5, 2023 at 3:47 pm

Laphonza has lived in Calif a long time, but currently resides in Maryland — where her job is, and is very experienced in political campaigns.


retired botanist October 5, 2023 at 4:31 pm

As I mentioned, Butler has a laudable background (w/ a couple exceptions) in advocacy around things that matter to liberals like me. I would think CA has covered her bio in their own news outlets pretty comprehensibly as well.
This link is not supposed to have a paywall, sorry if it does!


sealintheSelkirks October 5, 2023 at 7:13 pm

Definitely a couple of exceptions, and those being she shifted to working for anti-Union UBER when it was trying very hard to cancel any labor requirements except for ‘gig worker’ crap that leaves people even more face-down in the dirt while the corporation rakes in the cash. Then there’s her time spent working for AIRBnb which really fires an alarm bell with me.
As for her being buddy-buddy with Harris, I’m not really a fan of Harris in the first place looking at her overall record as a DA… I mean, putting low income parents in jail because their kids are ditching school just wasn’t much of a real solution when the parents has no way to exert control anyway. Can’t beat them into submission, hey? Nor was refusing and arguing against a revisit on a death sentence conviction where there were serious questions about exculpatory evidence of innocence revealed later.

Bluntly, I don’t think a prosecutor has the correct mindset or training to be a peoples advocate. Any more than I think combat veterans should become cops. Wrong kind of permanent brain rewiring and reflexes (numerous studies have shown this) for power over people in civilian settings. Notice how many cops showed up to ‘protest’ on Jan. 6th…and how many killing there are of unarmed civilians every day in this country?

So here’s a latest look at this ‘temporary’ Senatorial replacement that really isn’t being talked about:

And yes, I know there are no perfect politicians but the bar has dropped so low since Reagan…



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