California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed a pro-abortion activist who resides in another state to Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat.

In a statement posted Sunday, Newsom’s office announced the appointment of Laphonza Butler to fill the U.S. Senate seat that became vacant upon the death of longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Friday.

Butler, a Democrat, will serve until at least Jan. 3, 2025, when Feinstein’s term is scheduled to expire.


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Newsom’s office touted Butler’s role as the president of EMILY’s List, an advocacy group that works to elect pro-abortion Democratic women to political office as well as the fact that she is a black lesbian who will become the first openly LGBT person to represent California in the U.S. Senate.

Butler has also served as an advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris and as the president of “the largest labor union in California – SEIU Local 2015 – a union representing more than 325,000 nursing home and home-care workers throughout the state.”

“An advocate for women and girls, a second-generation fighter for working people, and a trusted adviser to Vice President Harris, Laphonza Butler represents the best of California, and she’ll represent us proudly in the United States Senate,” Newsom said upon announcing Butler as his pick to succeed Feinstein.

“As we mourn the enormous loss of Senator Feinstein, the very freedoms she fought for — reproductive freedom, equal protection, and safety from gun violence — have never been under greater assault.”

Newsom vowed, “Laphonza will carry the baton left by Senator Feinstein, continue to break glass ceilings, and fight for all Californians in Washington D.C.”

In a message posted on X Monday morning, Butler stated that she is honored to accept the 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.”

“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,” Butler added. “I am ready to serve.”

Following the news of Butler’s appointment, reports surfaced about how Butler resides in Maryland. Ashley Zavala, the California Capitol correspondent for California-based news outlet KCRA-TV, posted a screenshot on X of Butler’s biography on the EMILY’s List website as it appeared before her appointment to the Senate and contrasted it with how it appears now.