There will, of course, be a period of mourning for Dianne Feinstein. California's longest-serving U.S. senator and, at 90, the oldest member of the Senate, died Friday morning.
But it's expected that California Gov. Gavin Newsom will name a successor in no more than a week. Sources in California tell Newsmax that he wants to move quickly so Democrats will not have to deal for a long period with its slim 51-seat majority in the Senate reduced to 50 seats.
Most mentioned for the appointment is that of London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, an office once held by by Feinstein and Newsom.
As a Black woman, Breed fits the criterion Newsom has set out for naming a placeholder senator who will serve out the remainder of Feinstein's term through 2024 and not run for the full term. Newsom on Sept. 10 repeated his vow to NBC of nominating of a Black woman if a vacancy occured.
When incumbent Mayor Ed Lee suddenly died, Breed, who was president of the City Board of Supervisors, unexpectedly succeeded to the mayoralty. Ironically, these were circumstances similar to those under which Feinstein came to the city's top job in 1978 after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone.
Also mentioned for the Senate appointment are Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, and Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, also Black woman, will no doubt be upset if she's passed over, but she is a candidate for the primary and thus ruled out by Newsom's pledge to appoint an interim senator.
Newsom will become the first California governor since 1953 to have appointed both senators from the state.
In 1945, after death of venerable Republican Sen. Hiram Johnson, then-Gov. Earl Warren appointed William F. Knowland, a World War II veteran and son of the publisher of the Oakland Tribune, to his seat. When Sen. Richard Nixon became vice president in 1953, Warren picked fellow Republican and state Controller Tom Kuchel to his seat.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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