Newsom under pressure to replace Harris with woman of color
Three top names are among those he's considering to fill Kamala Harris' Senate seat.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is under pressure to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the election of Sen. Kamala Harris as vice president with another Black woman.
“There’s no way that Gavin Newsom should allow anyone other than a Black woman to fill the seat of Harris, who’s only the second Black woman in the history of the U.S. Senate,” former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown told POLITICO Sunday. “There should be no contest.”
Brown, who was a mentor to both Harris and Newsom, this week launched a massive initiative to rally Black churches, fraternal organizations and the Black press to push Newsom to consider Black female candidates.
Newsom is rumored to be considering Alex Padilla, a Latino, who is secretary of state in California, for the Senate seat. However, Brown has put forth other such notable names as veteran congresswomen Barbara Lee, Karen Bass and Maxine Waters.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed and state Sen. Holly Mitchell, who was recently elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, have also been floated as potential appointees.
On Monday, 150 of the biggest female donors in California published a full-page letter in the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle seeking diversity in Newsom’s selection.
“We urge you to continue this Californian tradition by appointing a woman of color to Vice President-elect Harris’s US Senate seat,” the donors wrote. “Women of color are the core drivers of electoral progress in our country, and their voices should be heard in the nation’s highest governing body. California is fortunate to have a strong pipeline of women of color in elected office who are prepared to serve; as Californians and political supporters, we look forward to you selecting one of them.”
Newsom has been reported to be lamenting the decision; according to Vox, he has said “the stress of having to choose between a lot of friends, to choose between quality candidates — and the fact that whoever you pick, there are going to be a lot of people who are going to be upset.”
Whoever Newsom selects will have to campaign for actual election to the seat in 2022, and they’re likely to face a wide field of Democratic candidates.