Only a black woman: Willie Brown, donors push Gov. Newsom to fill Kamala’s seat with ‘a woman of color’

Gov. Gavin Newsom is being asked by some of California’s largest political donors to intentionally choose a woman of color to fill the seat of Sen. Kamala Harris.

A public letter from a group of about 150 of the state’s biggest female donors will appear in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, urging the Democrat governor to use gender and race to fill the seat that may be left vacant by the vice presidential nominee, should the 2020 race be certified with Joe Biden as the winner.

“We urge you to continue this Californian tradition by appointing a woman of color to Vice President-elect Harris’s US Senate seat,” the letter states, according to Vox.

“Women of color are the core drivers of electoral progress in our country, and their voices should be heard in the nation’s highest governing body,” the letter continues.“ California is fortunate to have a strong pipeline of women of color in elected office who are prepared to serve; as Californians and political supporters, we look forward to you selecting one of them.”

(Image: KPIX screenshot)

Donor groups, Electing Women Bay Area and the Los Angeles Women’s Collective, authored the open letter which has also been signed by Silicon Valley psychiatrist Karla Jurvetson, sociologist Gretchen Sisson, philanthropist Susan Pritzker, and billionaire Dagmar Dolby.

Newsom has been under increasing pressure to choose the person who will be replacing Harris if she joins Biden in the White House in January.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla have been floated as possibilities, especially by Latino groups. Black congresswomen, Karen Bass of Los Angeles and Barbara Lee of San Francisco, are also on the list of those being touted for the Senate seat as well as Rep. Adam Schiff, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“There’s not a book, because no one would read it, but there’s certainly a blog I can write about the interesting folks that have had no problem calling directly and saying ‘I absolutely am the right person,’” Newsom told Fox 11 last month.

“The stress of having to choose between a lot of friends, to choose between quality candidates, and the fact that whoever you pick, there are going to be a lot of people who are going to be upset, disappointed, that it wasn’t this or that, I don’t even want to get my arms around that until I have the privilege of having to make that decision,” Newsom added.

But the clamor has been going on since the summer when Harris was chosen for the Democratic ticket.

“There’s no way that Gavin Newsom should allow anyone other than a black woman to fill the seat of Harris, who’s only the second black woman in the history of the U.S. Senate,” former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown told Politico on Sunday. “There should be no contest.”

Harris’ term expires in 2022 and her predecessor, Democrat Barbara Boxer, served for 25 years. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has held California’s other Senate seat for three decades.

While many are clamoring for Newsom to choose one candidate or another, pushing race, gender, or any number of other criteria other than experience, many Twitter users blasted the obvious problem with the demands like the letter from the women donors.

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Frieda Powers

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