Who the Heck is Laphonza Butler? She's California's Newest Senator
Politico: California's governor chose a labor leader turned power player to serve in the Senate
October 5, 2023
Laphonza Butler president of political advocacy group Emily's list, has been chosen as new California senator by Cal. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
"Gavin Newsom will appoint EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler to fill the seat of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, elevating the head of a fundraising juggernaut that works to elect Dem women who support abortion rights, per a person familiar," tweeted Politico Sunday night, Oct. 1, 2023.
California's governor Newson chose someone not currently running for Senate, to replace Dianne Feinstein. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee and Katie Porter should be roundly disappointed.
Fox LA's Alex Michelson tweeted: "BREAKING @GavinNewsom picks @LaphonzaB to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the U.S. Senate. LaPhonza Butler is President of EMILY's List, which elects pro choice women. She'll be CA's first openly gay Senator & could run for the office in her own right next year."
"California's governor chose a labor leader turned power player to serve in the Senate, and an adviser told POLITICO there were no preconditions about whether she could run in 2024."
"BREAKING NEWS: DIANNE FEINSTEIN'S REPLACEMENT IS ANNOUNCED!" tweeted Joey Mannarino. "Gavin Newsom promised he would nominate a Black woman to take over Dianne Feinstein's seat. Well, he went above and beyond. He has found a black lesbian woman named Laphonza Butler. Extra woke points for the lesbianism! She checks every single box for the liberals except for the fact that she is not transgender. Always could head in for some top surgery before she gets sworn in, though!"
Butler began her career as a union organizer for nurses in Baltimore and Milwaukee, janitors in Philadelphia and hospital workers in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2009, she moved to California, organizing in home caregivers and nurses, and served as President of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, SEIU Local 2015.
Butler was elected President of the California SEIU State Council in 2013. She undertook efforts to boost California's minimum wage and raise income taxes on the wealthiest Californians. As President of SEIU Local 2015, Butler endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
In 2015, Butler was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to a 12-year term as a regent of the University of California. She resigned from her role as regent in 2021.
Butler joined SCRB Strategies as a partner in 2018. At SCRB, she played a central role in Kamala Harris' 2020 presidential campaign. Butler was known as a political ally of Harris since her first run for California Attorney General in 2010, when she helped Harris negotiate a shared SEIU endorsement in the race.
Butler left SCRB in 2020 to join Airbnb as Director of Public Policy and Campaigns in North America. Butler was named the third president of EMILY's List in 2021. She was the first black woman and the first mother to lead the organization.