California Gov. Gavin Newsom has committed to nominating a black woman to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein, should she choose to retire. Feinstein currently stands as the oldest sitting U.S. Senator at the age of 87.
Newsom’s apparently woke effort is designed to court progressives who have long complained about the lack of diversity in the Senate, as he faces a recall effort that could see him ousted from his position.
Newsom made his comments on MSNBC to host Joy Reid, who asked him if he would nominate an African American woman for Feinstein’s seat because the only other black woman in the Senate, Kamala Harris, is now serving as the Vice President.
“We have multiple names in mind, and the answer is yes,” Newsom said.
Feinstein is currently serving her fifth full Senate term, which runs until 2025. She was first elected when she won a 1992 special election.
Newsom previously faced criticism when he chose Alex Padilla, formerly California's Secretary of State, to replace Harris in the Senate, instead of another black woman. Despite this, Padilla remains California’s first-ever Latino Senator.
Newsom’s efforts to promote himself as a progressive to Democrats may be in vain. The group organizing the recall effort against him plans to submit a petition with about two million signatures by the state’s deadline of this Wednesday, March 17. A recall effort would require about 1.5 million verified signatures, but thousands are likely to be rejected as invalid.