A number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are either rumored to be planning a retirement ahead of next year’s midterm elections or have already announced their intentions to leave Congress.
In a recent MSNBC interview, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested that U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) could soon be added to the list of soon-to-be retirees.
“Multiple names in mind”
He revealed to host Joy Redi that he already has a running list of potential replacements for the 87-year-old senator.
Specifically, he indicated that, should Feinstein decide to step down, he intends to replace her with a Black female.
According to Newsom, he has compiled a shortlist to consult should the veteran lawmaker decide to step down prior to the end of her term.
Reid asked her guest if he would “nominate an African-American woman” to replace Feinstein under such a scenario to restore that representation in the Senate now that Vice President Kamala Harris is no longer serving in the chamber.
“We have multiple names in mind, the answer is yes,” Newsom responded.
“We’re very good friends”
The governor attracted some criticism earlier this year after appointing Ale Padilla to fill the Senate seat vacated when Harris joined the Biden administration, primarily because it meant Capitol Hill would be devoid of any Black female senators.
Although there has been an increased amount of speculation surrounding the possibility of Feinstein’s retirement, she fired back on Tuesday amid some suggestion in the media that Newsom is working to push her out of the Senate.
“Please, we’re very good friends,” she said, reiterating that she has no intention of retiring prior to the end of her term.
Feinstein went on to accuse reporters of “making a mountain out of a molehill” in their coverage of the governor’s remarks.
For her part, the senator ignited speculation in recent months after stepping down from her influential position as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee amid a progressive backlash against her supposedly soft approach during confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Newsom is facing his own statewide effort to recall him from office.