Butler sworn in as third Black female senator in US history, replaces late California Sen. Feinstein
October 4, 2023
WASHINGTON - Former union leader and Democratic insider Laphonza Butler was sworn in as the newest member of the Senate on Tuesday, replacing California Sen. Dianne Feinstein after her death and becoming only the third Black female senator in history.
Butler was appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday, just two days after Feinstein died at her home in Washington. Butler is a longtime fundraiser and strategist in the state's Democratic circles and was the head of Emily's List, a national organization that raises money for women candidates who support abortion rights.
The new senator was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris, who served as the second Black female senator until she resigned in 2021 to join President Joe Biden in the White House. The first was Democratic Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who served one term in the 1990s.