Laphonza Butler Appointment May Throw Curveball Into Upcoming Election

( – The seat vacated with the passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was filled by Sen. Laphonza Butler, and raises the question of whether she will attempt to run for the office herself. The already congested battle will play out in the coming months.

Allegedly, Newsom appointed her for the partial term because she was not in the running, and it wouldn’t have been fair to appoint a candidate already considering the position. Newsom has since confirmed that this appointment is a temporary “caretaker” appointment. He confirmed that if Butler wanted to run, it would be her choice.

As of early October, Butler noted that she was genuinely unsure if she would want to run for that position or not. She said she is focused on what she can accomplish and on honoring the late Sen. Feinstein’s legacy.

Butler has until Dec. 8 to decide if she wants to run – that is the filing deadline. This is not a decision for her to make lightly, as the contest is likely to be the most expensive primary – in the country’s most expensive state. Other candidates have already raised millions of dollars for their campaigns. Adam Schiff appears to be a strong candidate and has claimed to have $32 million in cash on hand for his campaign. Some experts think that if Butler was to join the primary, it may help Schiff, who’s the only male candidate.

Butler’s swearing-in was Oct. 3, followed by a ceremonial swearing-in by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). She was embraced by her new peers, and her wife held the Bible during the ceremony. Her position is essentially that of a “caretaker, serving on a temporary basis until a senator is duly elected. Some observers believe Butler is a legitimate contender for the office – despite her showing no indication she wants to pursue it.

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