Laphonza Butler, who was appointed 18 days ago to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Dianne Feinstein’s death, said on Thursday that she would not run for the office next year, clearing the way for a truly open race in California that features three Democratic congressional members and a former Major League Baseball star.
In an interview with The New York Times, Senator Butler said that she intended to be “the loudest, proudest champion of California” in the 383 days remaining in her term in office, but that she had realized “this is not the greatest use of my voice.”
Ms. Butler has never been elected to office and was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom less than three weeks ago, helping him to fulfill his promise to name a Black woman to complete Senator Feinstein’s term.
Even without Ms. Butler in the running, Californians will have a wealth of candidates to choose from. Three high-profile Democratic members of Congress — Representatives Katie Porter, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee — had been campaigning for months when Senator Feinstein died at 90 in late September.
Steve Garvey, the former first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, has also announced his candidacy as a Republican.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.