Laphonza Butler, California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom's appointment to represent his state in the U.S. Senate, is registered to vote in Maryland, the Washington Examiner reported.
Newsom, on Sunday, selected Butler, a Democrat strategist and adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris' 2020 presidential campaign, to fill the seat made vacant by the death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
In choosing Butler, Newsom fulfilled his pledge to appoint a Black woman if Feinstein’s seat became open.
However, the Examiner reported that registration records indicate Butler lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her mailing address the same as her residential. She registered as a Democrat as of Sept. 12, 2022.
President of Emily's List, the self-described "nation's largest resource dedicated to electing Democratic pro-choice women to office,” Butler will be the only Black woman serving in the U.S. Senate and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent California in the chamber.
On Sunday night, Butler's biography on the Emily's List, website said: "Laphonza grew up in Magnolia, MS, and attended one of the country's premier HBCUs, Jackson State University. She lives in Maryland with her partner Neneki Lee and their daughter Nylah."
As of 7 a.m. ET Monday, the line saying she lives in Maryland had been removed from the website, the Examiner reported.
Butler is expected to reregister to vote in California before being sworn in, which could happen as soon as Tuesday evening, when the Senate returns to session.
On Monday, Butler said she had accepted Newsom's nomination to serve “a state I have made my home.”
In a statement, Newsom said the issues Feinstein fought for in Congress — reproductive freedom, equal protection, and safety from gun violence — were under assault in the nation.
"Laphonza will carry the baton left by Sen. Feinstein [and] continue to break glass ceilings and fight for all Californians in Washington D.C.,” Newsom said.
Newsom named Butler on a day that Nevada Democrat Rep. Steven Horsford, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, requested that the governor appoint Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., to serve the remaining time left on Feinstein's term.
Lee and fellow Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff have announced they’re running for the California U.S. Senate seat next year.
Newsom spokesman Anthony York said the governor did not ask Butler to commit to staying out of the race. The deadline for candidates to submit paperwork to seek the office is Dec. 8.
Feinstein died Thursday at age 90 after a series of illnesses.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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