Barbara Lee calls Newsom’s remarks on Feinstein replacement ‘insulting to countless black women’

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) loudly voiced her displeasure with Gov. Gavin Newsom, stating on Sunday that his comments regarding a potential replacement for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) were an insult to black women.

(Video Credit: NBC News)

There has been tremendous controversy among Democrats in California and Congress in general over filling the seat of 90-year-old Feinstein.

“I am troubled by the Governor’s remarks,” Lee said in her statement. “The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election.”

Lee is jockeying for Feinstein’s seat in 2024 with two other prominent California Democrats, Reps. Adam B. Schiff and Katie Porter. Feinstein will not be running for reelection due to her age and her health which has become a major concern in recent months.

“There are currently no Black women serving in the Senate. Since 1789, there have only been two Black woman Senators, who have served a total of 10 years,” Lee’s statement contended.

“The perspective of Black women in the U.S. Senate is sorely needed — and needed for more than a few months. Governor Newsom knows this, which is why he made the pledge in the first place,” she asserted, referring to a pledge previously made by Newsom to name a black woman to Feinstein’s seat if she had to step down, according to Politico.

“If the Governor intends to keep his promise and appoint a Black woman to the Senate, the people of California deserve the best possible person for that job. Not a token appointment,” Lee declared, ostensibly referring to herself. “Black women deserve more than a participation trophy. We need a seat at the table.”

Newsom made his comment on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday while speaking with host Chuck Todd. The governor stated that he had no interest in getting involved in a contentious Democratic primary for Feinstein’s seat.

Should he have to appoint a replacement, Newsom remarked that he would pick a short-term caretaker, not one of the candidates running for Feinstein’s seat next year which incensed Lee.

“Yes. Interim appointment. I don’t want to get involved in the primary,” Newsom flatly stated.

“It would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off,” he continued. “That primary is just a matter of months away. I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”

“We hope we never have to make this decision, but I abide by what I’ve said very publicly on a consistent basis,” Newsom asserted to Todd.

In a recent poll, Schiff is favored to take the seat with 20 percent of voters in California backing him. Porter received 17 percent in the poll and Lee is trailing both of them with 7 percent. The Democratic primary will take place in early March.

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