Laphonza Butler says she will not run for Dianne Feinstein's seat in 2024

UPI
Sen. Laphonza Butler, D-Calif. looks on during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on October 4. She said she will not seek Dianne Feinstein's seat for a full term in 2024. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
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Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Sen. Laphonza Butler, D-Calif., who was appointed to replace Dianne Feinstein in Congress earlier this month, said on Wednesday she will not join the crowded field next year to win the seat full term.

Butler, who was serving as president of EMILY'S List before California Gov. Gavini Newsom selected her for the Senate, became the state's first openly LGBTQ representative in the Senate and the first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress in U.S. history.

"I have spent my life working for working men and women whether I was fighting to win more pay for their labor, strengthen their communities or help them get elected," Butler wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "I've always believed elected leaders should have real clarity about why they're in office and what they want to do with the responsibility and power they have.

"I've spent the past 16 days pursuing my own clarity -- what kind of life I want to have, what kind of service I want to offer and what kind of voice I want to bring forward."

Butler said her decision not to run was the right one for her, even though some wanted her to jump into the race. Reps. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee and Katie Porter have already announced that they will be running for Feinstein's seat.

"Knowing you can win a campaign doesn't always mean you should run a campaign," Butler said. "I know this will be a surprise to many because traditionally we don't see those who have power let it go.

"California voters want leaders who think about them and the issues they care most about. I now have 383 days to serve the people of California with every ounce of energy and effort that I have. Muhammad Ali once said, 'Don't count the days, make the days count.' I intend to do just that."