House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is reportedly weighing in on the selection process for her state’s next attorney general.
According to a report from The Hill, Pelosi is lobbying Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on behalf of her preferred pick, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).
The outlet noted that the speaker and some of her supporters in the state have been attempting to nudge Newsom in Schiff’s direction.
Potentially eyeing higher office
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is on his way out of the position, having been nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Services under the Biden administration.
It is unclear from The Hill’s report whether Schiff is on board with the apparent effort to install him in the AG post.
According to Axios, however, the congressman has been “quietly lobbying” the governor for the appointment. That article further indicated Pelosi’s support of the effort.
Some speculation has already surfaced that Schiff is eyeing the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who is currently 87 years old and widely believed to be nearing the completion of her lengthy career in public office. A stint as his state’s attorney general could be a springboard to a term in the upper chamber on Capitol Hill.
The latest developments came as a surprise to many insiders, however, given recent reports that Pelosi had been grooming Schiff to lead the House Democratic Party caucus when she calls it quits.
For his part, Newsom has made it clear that he would not name a possible pick for the position until Becerra had been confirmed to the White House cabinet post. It is unclear when a vote on that congressional confirmation will come.
The governor’s office has not publicly commented on the reports of lobbying by either Schiff directly or on his behalf by members of Pelosi’s team.
In the meantime, Newsom is currently the target of a growing recall effort, which is sure to add another layer of public scrutiny on his pick to become the next attorney general.
Schiff, for his part, is far from the only name being mentioned as possible contenders, a list that includes Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, and Rick Zbur of the LGBTQ-rights group Equality California, according to The Hill.