California Sen. Laphonza Butler decides not to run for full term in 2024

Newly appointed California Democratic Sen. Laphonza Butler will not seek election to a full term in 2024, avoiding what would have been a costly and competitive race for the seat held for three decades by the late Dianne Feinstein.

Butler — who was named earlier this month by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to complete Feinstein’s remaining term — said in a statement she made the decision after considering “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.”

“Knowing you can win a campaign doesn’t always mean you should run a campaign. I know this will be a surprise to many because traditionally we don’t see those who have power let it go,” Butler added. “It may not be the decision people expected but it’s the right one for me.”

Her candidacy would have complicated an already crowded race that includes several other prominent Democrats — U.S. Reps. Katie Porter, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee — and Republican Steve Garvey, a former baseball MVP.

Butler, a Democratic insider and former labor leader, had never held public office before joining the Senate.

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