California Gov. Gavin Newsomfulfilling a promise to appoint a Black woman to the seattapped queer Democratic strategist Laphonza Butler to fill the Senate post held by the trailblazing Dianne Feinstein, who died on Sept. 29, The Advocate reported.
Butlerwho has a daughter with partner Neneki Leewill now be the first LGBTQ+ person of color to serve in the U.S Senate. She will serve the remainder of Feinstein's term, which ends next year.
Butler leads EMILYs List, a political group that aims to elect Democratic pro-choice women. Previously, among other things, she advised Vice President Kamala Harris's 2020 presidential campaign.
According to the EMILYs List website, Butler has also served as the president of the biggest union in California, and the nation's largest homecare workers unionSEIU Local 2015. In addition, she has been a member of the University of California Board of Regents and a member of the boards of directors for the Children's Defense Fund and BLACK PAC.
Butler grew up in Magnolia, Mississippi and attended Jackson State University, one of the country's 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
In a statement, Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang said, "Laphonza Butler is eminently qualified to represent California well in the United States Senate and we are thrilled to congratulate her. This historic appointment by Governor Newsom will give our LGBTQ+ community another voice in Congress at a time when our rights and freedoms are under attack across the country. We look forward to working with Laphonza as she steps into this new role and continues her lifelong fight for our shared values of equity, freedom and justice for all."
Democratic U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff are all running for Feinstein's Senate seat.