Feinstein Backs Newsom Ally, Former Staffer, For U.S. Senate Appointment

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) backed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, a show of support for an ally of the governor as he weighs his appointment options amidst a slew of candidates from which to choose.

Padilla, 47, has been seen as the frontrunner in the race to win California Governor Gavin Newsom’s final approval, and Feinstein’s endorsement signals that she hasn’t decided to lay low in light of recent attacks from the Left flank of the Democratic Party.

“I have given him my support. I did that quite a while ago. He worked for me at one point, so I know him,” Feinstein told Politico in an interview. “And my sense is that he’s going to represent California very well. He’s someone I would be very happy to work with, and also bring Hispanic representation to the Senate for the first time.”

As The New York Times notes, Padilla’s political relationship with the Newsom runs deep, him having led Newsom’s first run for governor back in 2010. He later served as a key endorsement for Newsom’s ultimately successful gubernatorial run eight years later.

The Daily Wire previously highlighted some of Padilla’s resistance to the Trump administration and President Donald Trump:

As secretary of state, Padilla refused to cooperate with the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity. He also accused Republican Kris Kobach, the former Kansas Secretary of State and committee vice-chair, of seeking to “enact policies that will result in the disenfranchisement of American citizens.”

During a speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Padilla claimed Trump was trying to sabotage the Postal Service ahead of the presidential election. “Democrats will fight to make sure your ballot is counted,” said Padilla.

But Feinstein’s nod toward Padilla by no means cements his future in the U.S. Senate. Others, such as former State Assembly Leader Willie Brown, have been publicly calling on Newsom to select a black woman to fill a senate vacancy.

“There’s no way that Gavin Newsom should allow anyone other than a Black woman to fill the seat of Harris, who’s only the second Black woman in the history of the U.S. Senate,” Brown told Politico in a recent interview. “There should be no contest.”

In a recent column for The San Francisco Chronicle, Brown argued that Newsom has an array of black women to choose from, including Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 82, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, 74, and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass.

Black Lives Matter has also called on Newsom to appoint a black woman to the Senate, saying that a vacancy left by Harris would mean there was “simply not a proper representation of the people” because she is currently the only black woman senator.

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