The pro-abortion advocate appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by the late Dianne Feinstein says she will not seek a full term in office.
Laphonza Butler was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom days after Feinstein died at the age of 90. Bulter is known for her work as the former president of Emily’s List, a political action committee dedicated to assisting pro-abortion female Democrats win political office. Butler was sworn in on Oct. 3 and will serve until the special election in November 2024.
However, Butler does not plan to campaign for a full term. She told The New York Times on Oct. 20 that she has realized serving in the United States Senate “is not the greatest use of [her] voice.”
“I believe leaders should have real clarity about why they’re in office and what they want to do with the power they hold,” she told the outlet.
The Democrat said she intends to be “the loudest, proudest champion of California” during the remainder of her more than 380 days in office. She also stressed that her decision not to launch a campaign for the seat was not the result of a single event.
“I know it’s surprising — folks don’t traditionally see people who have power let it go, but this is a moment where I’ve had to mind my own truth and hold it in my own heart,” said Butler.
“Butler’s appointment drew some criticism from Republican lawmakers after it was discovered her home address was listed in Silver Spring, Maryland,” notes Fox News.
Prior to her death, Feinstein had announced her intention to retire at the end of her term. A number of other Californians have already launched campaigns, including Representatives Katie Porter, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee.
Schiff currently has the fundraising advantage over his fellow California delegates. In the last three months, his campaign has raised over $6 million while Porter raised just over $3 million and Lee $1 million since July.
“Fundraising numbers are a hint at the viability of candidates running for a rare open Senate seat in California, home to some of the most expensive media markets in the nation,” reports the LA Times. “Airing an effective television advertising campaign, which can cost millions of dollars per week in the Los Angeles market alone, is essential for any statewide campaign courting the Golden State’s 22 million registered voters.”
In addition to the Democratic congressional representative, several high-profile Californians are also vying for a place in the Senate. Television anchor Christina Pascucci launched a bid for the Senate.
“It’s time to stop the fighting in Washington, and focus on reaching across the aisle to put people over politics. I believe in the promise of California,” Pascucci said in a statement on X.
Former Google executive Lexi Reese announced her Senate campaign in June, describing herself as a “new candidate with a fresh message.”
“The California dream is dying,” she said in her announcement video, per AP News. “Millions of families are working hard but barely getting by. It is time to work together to build a better future together.”
Steve Garvey, a former professional baseball player for the LA Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, announced he would seek the office as a Republican on Oct. 10.
“We need fresh voices; we need new ideas. We need people who are going to be exactly that: for the people,” said Garvey, per NBC News. “I think people will believe in me, and they’ll feel that their voice becomes my voice and I’ll go to bat for them every day.”
The California primary will be held in March.