(USNewsMag.com) – A replacement for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who died Sept. 28, has been named by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and his decision is sparking controversy.
Newsom announced on Oct. 2 that he had selected Laphonza Butler as California’s temporary senator to finish out Feinstein’s term. Newsom stated that Butler is an “advocate for women and girls” as well as “a trusted adviser to Vice President Harris.” He stated that Butler would “continue to break glass ceilings” just as Feinstein did.
Newsom’s announcement was met with criticism by many over where Butler currently resides. On Oct. 1, however, her location on Twitter listed her as living in Maryland. The account was updated after Newsom’s announcement and now reflects no location. The references to her living in Maryland were also removed from Butler’s bio on the website Emily’s List, a pro-abortion group. Butler is the president of Emily’s List. The bio originally included the fact that she lived with “her partner Neneki Lee and their daughter Nylah” in Maryland. As of August 31, Butler is listed as living in Silver Spring, Maryland, according to a Federal Election Commission filing for Emily’s List.
According to Newsom, Butler has a home in California, and before she is sworn in, she will re-register to vote in California. He stated that in 2021, when she was named as the president of Emily’s List, she moved to Maryland.
California Rep. Kevin Kiley said the “Senate has an obligation to carefully assess” where Butler lives and whether she meets the “residency requirements in Article I of the Constitution.”
On Oct. 2, Butler thanked Newsom for being nominated to be a senator “for a state I have long called home.” Butler served on Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign as a senior adviser. She also worked at a political firm with strategists that worked with Newsom as well as other California Democrats. She previously worked at Airbnb as the director of public policy.
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