Recently appointed California Democratic U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler will not run for a full term in 2024, the Senator announced Thursday.
Butler, the former president of political action committee EMILY’s List, was appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the late Dianne Feinstein’s seat.
She was sworn in earlier this month and there had been speculation that she could enter the race from the formidable position of effectively being a sitting U.S. Senator.
“I’ve spent the past 16 days pursuing my clarity – what kind of life I want to have, what kind of service I want to offer and what kind of voice I want to bring forward,” Sen. Butler said in a statement. “After considering those questions I’ve decided not to run for Senate in the upcoming election.”
Butler said she plans to make the most of her remaining time in office, which is over a full calendar year.
“California voters want leaders who think about them and the issues they care most about. I now have 383 days to serve the people of California with every ounce of energy and effort that I have. Muhammad Ali once said, ‘don’t count the days, make the days count.’ I intend to do just that.”
Butler stepping aside clears the field for the three Democratic frontrunners in the race, California Representatives Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee.
“Senator Butler took on the enormous responsibility of filling an open senate seat with grace, integrity, and a deep commitment to delivering for the people of California,” Lee said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing our work together for the remainder of her term.”
On the Republican side, former Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey announced his entry into the race last week.