California Dems Are At Each Other’s Throats Over Who Should Replace Dianne Feinstein: REPORT

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California Democrats are competing behind the scenes to pressure Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom over who would be appointed to replace retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein should she not finish her term, NBC News reported.

Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff are all running to replace Feinstein, each with powerful supporters, according to NBC News. Schiff has the backing of Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker of the house, while Porter is supported by some of Newsom’s allies and Barbara Lee, who is black, would fulfill a promise by Newsom to appoint a black woman to the Senate after he appointed Alex Padilla to fill the seat vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris. (RELATED: Majority Of California Democrats Believe Sen. Dianne Feinstein Can No Longer Serve: POLL)

However, behind the scenes, allies of Porter and Schiff are strongly opposed to Lee’s appointment and are urging Newsom to reconsider his promise, arguing that Newsom would be unjustly influencing the primary by sticking to it, according to NBC News. Meanwhile, several prominent black Democrats are making their case to Newsom for why Lee should be chosen.

“Any decision pisses off someone important,” an unnamed Democratic strategist told NBC News. “There’s more of a downside than upside to just about anything you do.”

Lee’s allies have also argued that Pelosi is pressuring Feinstein to stay in office in order to block Lee’s appointment, while Pelosi has characterized attempts to urge Feinstein to retire as rooted in sexism, according to NBC News.

Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Feinstein, who was absent earlier this year after being hospitalized with shingles in March, announced her retirement in February. Her health issues and absence have prompted multiple calls for her to resign, including from Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Newsom has faced constant lobbying over the appointment, and said he’s been stopped by people and flooded with calls and emails about how to address a potential vacancy, according to NBC News, while his circle of advisers are divided between Lee, Schiff and Porter, with several working on campaigns or super PACs backing the contenders.

Feinstein is not the only member of the Senate who has missed time this year. Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania was hospitalized for depression and Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell missed time after falling at an event.

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