“It’s a significant question,” Butler acknowledged during a sit-down conversation on the political show “The Issue Is.” “It’s a genuine contemplation for me, pondering what I can contribute to the country’s progress. I’m aware of my unique talents and skills, but it’s a matter of figuring out how to navigate all these considerations while simultaneously fulfilling my current role.”
Butler’s journey to the Senate began when California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed her to fill the vacant seat left by the late Senator Dianne Feinstein in early October 2023. Her term is set to conclude in January 2025.
Prior to stepping into this role, Butler served as the leader of Emily’s List, a political organization dedicated to supporting female Democratic candidates and championing issues such as pro-choice. She emphasizes that her experiences in this capacity are a significant factor in her decision-making process regarding a potential Senate run.
“For the past two years, I have dedicated every waking moment to encouraging women across the country, especially women of color from diverse backgrounds, to recognize that this is a crucial moment where their communities need their voices in the political arena,” Butler stated. “Now, I find myself with the opportunity to contemplate making the same choices, and this is a weighty decision.”
If she chooses to enter the race, Butler would join a list of prominent Democratic House members, including Representatives Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee, as reported by the Associated Press. Notably, former MLB player Steve Garvey, a Republican candidate, recently entered the race on October 10.
Butler, the sole Black woman currently serving in the U.S. Senate, was sworn in on October 3 by Vice President Kamala Harris. She’s the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent California and has already faced harassment, including hate mail and unwelcome visitors at her doorstep.
“I’m carefully considering the impact of a campaign on my family and the divisive nature of the harassment, both online and in the real world,” Butler revealed. “My mother, at 70 years old, didn’t sign up for this, and my nine-year-old daughter certainly didn’t either.”
Butler has not set a specific timeline for making her decision, but she must decide by December 8 if she intends to enter the race.