Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-CA) stated that she does not plan to run for a full Senate term in 2024.
Butler was appointed to the California Senate seat by Gov. Gavin Newsom following the death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Abortion Advocate Laphonza Butler Will Not Run for Senate in 2024: ‘Not Greatest Use of My Voice’ https://t.co/YOzNUhQwPY
— JacksonvilleForLife (@JaxForLife) October 19, 2023
"Butler had never been elected to office before California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appointed her to the position, fulfilling his promise to choose a black woman for the role," Breitbart News reported.
"Before also becoming 'the first black woman' to lead EMILYs List, Butler served as director of public policy campaigns in North America for Airbnb," it continued.
Breaking News: Laphonza Butler, who was appointed to fill Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in California, said she would not run for the office next year. https://t.co/nJBsC9ktxE
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 19, 2023
“I believe leaders should have real clarity about why they’re in office and what they want to do with the power they hold,” Butler told the New York Times.
“Even without Ms. Butler in the race, Californians will have a wealth of candidates to choose from. Three high-profile Democratic members of Congress — Representatives Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee — had been campaigning for months when Senator Feinstein died at 90 in late September," it added.
Sen. Laphonza Butler says she's not running in 2024 for full term after filling Dianne Feinstein's seat. https://t.co/hBdV3LypAZ
— ABC News (@ABC) October 20, 2023
"Butler, who will serve out the remainder of Feinstein's term, through January 2025, has not endorsed any of the candidates," ABC News reported.
"California voters want leaders who think about them and the issues they care most about. I now have 383 days to serve the people of California with every ounce of energy and effort that I have," Butler said in her statement on Thursday. "Muhammad Ali once said, 'Don't count the days, make the days count.' I intend to do just that."
In addition to the group of Democratic candidates, former Los Angeles Dodgers star Steve Garvey announced his campaign as a Republican for Senate.
Garvey faces an uphill battle in California that has largely elected Democrats to the Senate for several years. His hopes build on Larry Elder's close competition against Newsom in a recall election that showed many in the state are ready for conservative leadership.
Butler's appointment came as a surprise and now he plans to only serve short-term, leading to a scramble over who will lead next in the Senate.