Democrats Attempting to Quietly Replace Senator Behind Their Back

California Democrats are quietly maneuvering to replace Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is expected to retire in 2024 if not sooner. The 88-year-old senator is not expected to seek another term, and reports indicate that staff and colleagues are deeply concerned about her mental condition. This raises the possibility of Feinstein being forced into retirement before her term ends, in which case a successor would have to be appointed.

Feinstein retirement possibility offers opportunity

Senator Feinstein’s age and health are sensitive issues for California Democrats, particularly because many of them admire the longtime senator.

Publicly calling for Feinstein to retire would not be received well with many in the party, but some Democrats are quietly working to secure a replacement.

If Feinstein continues to the end of her term, a battle will inevitably ensue as Democrats pursue the nomination in a state where the primaries are far more competitive than the general election.

If the senator instead agrees to retire before her term ends, one lucky Democrat will win an appointment directly from the hand of Governor Gavin Newsom, with no campaigning required.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for ambitious California Democrats; Feinstein’s own longevity in office shows how easy it is to turn a six-year term into an effectively lifetime position.

Only a primary challenge could realistically unseat a Democrat chosen by Newsom to fill a vacant seat, and it is far easier to hold a seat as an incumbent than it is to campaign for one.

Newsome may get the decision

The venerable senator is clearly reluctant to step down before her term ends, even as members of her own party increasingly express their concerns about her mental health.

Some Californians must be desperately hoping that Feinstein makes it to the end of her term in 2024, as this could be their only chance to win a place in the United States Senate.

That’s because Newsom has already announced that many of them are to be automatically ruled out if Feinstein retires early and the decision of choosing a successor falls to him.

Newsom has publicly pledged that he will choose a black woman (of course) and most of the individuals aspiring to the position do not meet that demographic qualification.

Representatives Katie Porter and Adam Schiff are expected to be likely candidates if Feinstein sticks around until 2024, but neither has a chance if the choice is left to Newsom.

For now, almost all of the maneuvering and negotiating will have to take place privately; any Democrat hoping to become Feinstein’s heir will have to deal with her presence quietly until she decides it is time to step down.

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