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Newly appointed California Sen. Laphonza Butler says she won’t run to keep the seat in 2024

Emily’s List President Laphonza Butler speaks during a political event with reproductive rights groups at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, June 23, 2023.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Laphonza Butler, a Democrat who was appointed this month to fill Dianne Feinstein’s seat, said Thursday that she won’t seek a full Senate term next year.

Butler, the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the chamber, was appointed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom following Feinstein’s death last month at age 90. She was sworn in Oct. 3.

“Knowing you can win a campaign doesn’t always mean you should run a campaign,” Butler said in a statement.

“I’ve spent the past 16 days pursuing my 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. After considering those questions I’ve decided not to run for Senate in the upcoming election.”

Her decision was first reported by The New York Times. Butler, who’s the third Black woman to serve in the Senate, said she’ll finish the remainder of Feinstein’s term through, which ends in January 2025, with “every ounce of energy and effort that I have.”

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