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Why a quick replacement for Feinstein is in Newsom’s best interest

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Newsom would escape pressure from Washington by bringing the Democrats back to 50 as soon as possible.

There is a growing pressure campaign from allies of the California congresswoman, the only black woman candidate to succeed Feinstein, to appoint her to the interim post.

Newsom could short-circuit the intensifying Draft Lee campaign by making a quick nomination.

Beyond Lee, Newsom’s team is receiving texts and calls from a host of other potential replacements and their supporters. Unconfirmed names in the mix range from Bay Area Rapid Transit board member and House candidate Lateefah Simon to Secretary of State Shirley Weber.

Newsom would end this frenzy by moving quickly to name Feinstein’s temporary successor.

While Newsom generally enjoys the attention, appearing on cable news to play the role of Biden’s attack dog against Republicans like Florida’s governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, this is a time when Gov. from California prefers not to have all eyes on him.

Newsom is also sensitive to the need for a period of mourning honoring Feinstein’s monumental legacy — he has a long-standing relationship with her.

Given all these considerations, Newsom will likely act soon. But the drama will not end there for the governor. There is no choice that would make everyone happy.

This story first appeared in California Playbook PM. Register to receive it in your inbox.


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