Newsom, though, is leaning toward Alex Padilla


Oakland Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan, Noel Gallo, and Sheng Thao want Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint Rep. Barbara Lee to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ U.S. Senate seat.

The trio of councilmembers offered the recommendation in a letter sent on Monday.

“We are incredibly honored to be represented by a courageous and dedicated leader — Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and would like to encourage you to appoint Barbara Lee to the Senate. Barbara Lee has shown, both with her words and also with her actions, a deep commitment to justice, and a willingness to uplift truth and justice — even in the face of pressure not to,” the councilmember’s wrote.

“Lee is an experienced member of congress, and can easily transition into the Senate at a difficult time in history. This is the kind of proven leadership and representation that California needs to help move America forward, and to ensure a more equitable future.”

They also noted that Harris’ ascension to the vice-presidency, while a momentous occasion in American history, will deprive the Senate of any female Black representation.

A large group of influential state Democratic insiders also made similar plea to Newsom on Monday.

The moves come as statewide jockeying for the soon-to-be-open senate seat is reaching a fever pitch. In addition to Lee, Southern California Reps. Karen Bass and Maxine Waters, along with San Francisco Mayor London Breed are potential appointees.

But conventional wisdom is that Newsom is leading toward California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Harris. Padilla’s appointment would also be a historic selection. A Latino American have never represented in the state in its 170-year history.