California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday he is rooting for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, D-Calif., who has been beset by health issues this year, to finish her term despite calls by others for her to resign.
Newsom said on “Meet the Press” should Feinstein step down before her current term ends in 2024 — she has said she won’t seek reelection — he would appoint an interim replacement who is not among the declared candidates for the Democratic nomination, including Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff.
“I don’t want to make another appointment, and I don’t think the people of California want me to make another appointment,” said Newsom, who appointed Democrat Alex Padilla to the Senate in 2020 to replace Vice President Kamala Harris. “I’ve made plenty of appointments.”
Newsom said by not appointing an interim replacement among the candidates for Feinstein’s seat, he would distance himself from the race for the nomination.
“It would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off,” Newsom said. “That primary is just a matter of months away [March 5]. I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”
In 2021, Newsom promised to appoint a Black woman to the seat should it become open. Lee is the only prominent Black woman in the race.
“We hope we never have to make this decision, but I abide by what I’ve said very publicly on a consistent basis,” Newsom said when asked if he will stick to the vow he made in 2021.
Newsom said it is “sad to watch” Feinstein’s decline in the Senate but he’s confident in her staff’s ability to help her handle the many responsibilities of her job.
“It wasn’t that long ago where she would call me up, read me the riot act on issues related to forest management, vegetation management, what we’re doing in the central valley on drought and water issues,” Newsom said. “Again, that wasn’t the black-and-white movie days. That was not too long ago.
“Her staff is still extraordinarily active, and we wish her only the best. Her term expires, she’s not running for reelection. So this time next year we’ll be in a very different place.”
Michael Katz ✉
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and poltics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.