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Gavin Newsom Pressured to Quickly Appoint Dianne Feinstein's Replacement After Her Death

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Dianne died on Thursday at the age of 90.

Sep. 29 2023, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

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California Governor Gavin Newsom is being given a tight timeline to find a temporary replacement for Senator Dianne Feinstein as Congress plans to vote on a spending bill on the same day as her passing, has learned.

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California Gavin Newsom to appoint Dianne Feinstein's replacement.

In a statement released on Friday morning, Newsom expressed his deep sorrow over the passing of Senator Feinstein, highlighting her many accomplishments as well as her devotion to her state and country.

"Dianne Feinstein was many things – a powerful, trailblazing US Senator; an early voice for gun control; a leader in times of tragedy and chaos," Newsom said. "But to me, she was a dear friend, a lifelong mentor, and a role model not only for me, but to my wife and daughters for what a powerful, effective leader looks like."

"She was a political giant, whose tenacity was matched by her grace. She broke down barriers and glass ceilings, but never lost her belief in the spirit of political cooperation," he continued.

"She was a fighter — for the city, the state and the country she loved ... That's what she should be remembered for. There is simply nobody who possessed the strength, gravitas, and fierceness of Dianne Feinstein."

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Senator Dianne Feinstein dead at 90.

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While reflecting on Feinstein's legacy, Newsom faces the challenge of appointing a caretaker to her Senate seat. The possibility of Feinstein not completing her term had been looming over California politics for months as she battled health problems and exhibited signs of cognitive decline.

With over a year left in her term, Newsom must select someone to fill the position, which carries significant weight as many important senate decisions are coming up.

Newsom had previously committed to appointing a Black woman if given a second Senate appointment. However, he recently indicated that if Feinstein did not complete her term, he would choose an interim replacement instead of Representative Barbara Lee, the only Black woman running for the Senate seat.

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Gavin Newsom honored Dianne Feinstein in new statement.

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Despite the controversy, Newsom has reiterated his intention to appoint a Black woman.

During an interview on Meet the Press on September 10th, he stated, "We hope we never have to make this decision, but I abide by what I've said very publicly on a consistent basis."

The selection of a new senator is crucial for California, as the state is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation race to succeed Feinstein.

Whoever's appointed as her replacement will play a crucial role in representing California's interests.

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As recently reported, Feinstein, the oldest senator in U.S. history, died at 90 on Thursday evening after dealing with several health issues in her later years.

She was hospitalized for shingles in February, which led to an extended absence from the Senate. She reportedly missed upwards of 60 Senate votes during her medical leave.

Many called for Feinstein to retire. Ultimately, she decided to finish out her term but chose not to run for reelection in 2024.



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