Newsom Picks Former Union Leader, Abortion Activist To Fill Feinstein’s Senate Seat

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom needed to fill the U.S. Senate seat of his late mentor Dianne Feinstein, he could have turned to a big-city mayor, a member of Congress or a powerful legislator. Instead, he chose Laphonza Butler, a former union leader and Democratic insider. She heads a national organization that raises money for women candidates who support abortion rights. She offered a loyal, familiar face who shares Newsom’s vision for a progressive California. In choosing Butler, he also elevated someone who could become an important ally for a potential national campaign that many see in his future.