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Oakland Leaders Make Push For Rep. Barbara Lee To Replace Kamala Harris In Senate - 'Courageous And Dedicated'

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Members of the Oakland City Council have signed onto a letter urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint Rep. Barbara Lee to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate.

The letter signed by Council President Rebecca Kaplan and councilmembers Noel Gallo and Sheng Thao called Lee a "courageous and dedicated" leader.

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 letter said in part.

Councilmembers touted Lee's two-plus decades in Congress and that she would be able to "easily transition into the Senate at a difficult time in history." Kaplan, Gallo and Thao also noted that Lee would be the only African-American woman in the Senate if appointed.

Newsom said he has no timeline to make an announcement on Harris' successor, but there is no shortage of potential candidates who could fill the seat. Along with Lee, members of Congress whose names are being floated Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) who is also head of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) who was lead impeachment manager in the trial of President Donald Trump earlier this year.

Other potential contenders include statewide officeholders such as Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, along with big city mayors including London Breed of San Francisco and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles.

Newsom could also sidestep the competition entirely and install a caretaker in the Senate from among party elders to hold the seat through the 2022 election.

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