Gov. Gavin Newsom Is Slacking On His Promise To Appoint A Black Woman To Senate

The race for a pending Senate seat is already hot, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom has a promise to keep.

Newsom recently took the stand during the state Democratic Party Convention where Vilma Dawson was present and stood in support. According to CNN, Democrats expect Newsom to keep a promise regarding selecting a successor to fill 86-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in the Senate should she confirm retirement.

“I’m sure Governor Newsom has a plan to appoint an African American female,” Dawson said. “I don’t think the governorship is where he’s going to stop his political career. People have long memories as to whether they can trust someone to support, shall we say, promises that they made.”

Newsom committed to nominating an African American woman to the Senate in 2021, per an interview with MSNBC. The possibility for a new appointment comes amid Feinstein’s months-long absence due to a shingles diagnosis.

Kimberly Ellis, a Democratic strategist and activist in California, has worked with other Democratic women to ensure a qualified person is chosen to fill Feinstein’s seat if she retires. “We do believe that Governor Newsom will keep his promise. We have known him to be a man of his word.”

Black women are the margin of victory. We get it done. [Newsom] knows that just like many in the country know that. And so, we have no doubt that he will indeed appoint a Black woman. The only question that’s on the table is which Black woman.”

According to Pew Research Center, there have been two Black women to serve in the Senate: Democrat Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who was elected in 1992, and Vice President Kamala Harris, who was elected in 2017 as a California senator.

State Rep. Barbara Lee launched her bid during Black History Month to become the second Black woman senator from California. Angela Alsobrooks and Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware are also prospects for U.S. Senate bids in 2024. Alsobrooks bid is to become the first Black woman elected statewide in Maryland.