California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Laphonza Butler would represent California in the U.S. Senate after the death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Butler will be the first out Black person to ever serve in the body and the first out senator from California. She will become the third out senator serving following Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
Butler wrote on X, “I’m honored to accept Gov. @GavinNewsom’s nomination to be U.S. Senator for a state I have made my home and honored by his trust in me to serve the people of California and this great nation.”
And, in tribute to Feinstein, wrote, “No one will ever measure up to the legacy of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but I will do my best to honor her legacy and leadership by committing to work for women and girls, workers and unions, struggling parents, and all of California. I am ready to serve.”
In a statement, Mayor Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute said, “Laphonza is a champion for building a more inclusive and representative government and will certainly be a champion for women, people of color and LGBTQ people in the U.S senate. Today she shatters a rainbow ceiling in becoming the first out Black LGBTQ U.S. senator and she will serve knowing her presence and impact will be felt in countless ways. The U.S. senate is our most prestigious legislative body, but also one where change is slow. Laphonza’s appointment today is an exception to that rule, being a big step forward in our push for a more representative government.”
— David Taffet