Laphonza Butler Breaks Silence On Potential 2024 Senate Run
Newly selected California senator Laphonza Butler somewhat answered the question the people want to know: is she entering the 2024 senate race?
In an exclusive interview with FOX 11, Butler admitted that she still doesn’t know.
“It is the big question,” Butler said, during a sit down chat on political show The Issue Is. “That is a real contemplation for me, thinking about what can I contribute to the country moving forward? What are my unique talents and skills? I know that I have them, and it’s a question about, you know, how do I process all of those things and do the job at the same time.”
California governor Gavin Newsom appointed Butler to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s vacant seat shortly after Feinstein passed away in early October 2023. The term ends in January 2025. Before filling the seat, Butler worked as the leader of Emily’s List, a political organization that supports female Democratic candidates and issues, including pro-choice initiatives. It’s her work in that position, she says, that is a factor on her decision to run or not.
“For the last two years, I have spent every waking moment trying to convince women across the country, more women of color with varied backgrounds across the country, that this is the moment where their community needs them to raise their hand and run for office,” Butler said. “And, you know, here I have the opportunity to consider those same choices, and that is really weighing on me.”
If she decides to run, she will be added to the list of other prominent Democratic House members — Reps. Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee, according to Associated Press. Republican candidate and former MLB player Steve Garvey entered the race on Oct. 10.
Butler, the only Black woman serving in the U.S. Senate, was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on Oct. 3 and says she has to consider how a campaign will affect those closest to her. Butler is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent California and has already sustained harassment, admitting to receiving hate mail and strangers showing up at her door.
“I’m thinking about my family, the divisive nature of the harassment that is happening both online and in real life, Butler said. “My mother is 70 years old; she didn’t sign up for this. My daughter is nine, she didn’t sign up for for this.”
While she said there is no timeline on her decision, Butler has until Dec. 8 to decide if she’ll enter the race.