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Dianne Feinstein’s Replacement Will Be Eligible for a Full Senate Term

  • Gavin Newsom’s replacement for Dianne Feinstein will be eligible to run for a full Senate term in 2024.
  • The news is a departure from Newsom’s previous promise to appoint a caretaker to the seat.
  • Progressives are pressuring Newsom to appoint Rep. Barbara Lee to the empty Senate seat.

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointee to replace Dianne Feinstein in the Senate will be eligible to run for a full term in 2024, a spokesperson for Newsom confirmed to Insider.

“There will be no precondition that this is a temporary replacement,” Andrew Desiderio, a congressional reporter for Punchbowl News, wrote in a post on X, breaking the news. “Senate Dem leadership expects swearing-in by midweek.”

A spokesperson for Newsom’s office told Insider no update regarding the timeline for announcing Feinstein’s replacement was available as of Sunday afternoon.

The news is a departure from Newsom’s promise in early September to appoint a caretaker to a Senate seat left empty by Feinstein should she retire, saying it would be “completely unfair” to tap a candidate so close to the 2024 primary.

“That primary is just a matter of months away,” Newsom said, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”

Feinstein died weeks later, at age 90, after months of declining health.

While Newsom has not yet announced who will succeed Feinstein in office, progressives are pressuring the Governor to reverse his vow to appoint a caretaker and instead tap Rep. Barbara Lee for the seat, Insider previously reported.

In 2021, Newsom indicated that he’d appoint a Black woman to a vacancy if Feinstein’s became open, and earlier this year floated Oprah Winfrey’s name as a possibility to succeed the late senator.

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