It remains dizzyingly unclear when we will have a functioning government again but we do have some news out of the California Senate race for late-Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat:
Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-CA), who has been a member of Congress for 16 days ever since Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed her to serve out the rest of Feinstein’s term, confirmed reporting from the New York Times Thursday that she doesn’t plan to run for a full term.
That clears the way for an open race in California, where three Democratic lawmakers and one Republican baseball star are already gunning for the seat.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Butler said she plans to serve “with every ounce of energy and effort that I have” in the time between now and the end of Feinstein’s term, but added: “Knowing you could win a campaign doesn’t always mean you should run a campaign.”
Butler has never served as an elected official, but is prominent in California politics and has quite the resume as a political consultant, working for both Vice President Kamala Harris and Newsom as an adviser. She ran EMILY’s List and was the head of a home health care union for two decades, where she pushed for a $15 minimum wage in California.
In bowing out, the field is clear for what was already-expected to be an expensive primary season. California Reps. Katie Porter, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee all threw their hat in the ring months before Feinstein passed away in September. And in recent weeks, former Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres star Steve Garvey announced he would run for the seat as a Republican.
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