Senator Oprah Winfrey? Talk Show Mogul Could Become Lawmaker Without Being Elected

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Oprah Winfrey could become a pawn in a game of political chess, according to published reports.

Winfrey’s name has arisen in discussions of a possible replacement for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

Feinstein, 89, has said she will retire at the end of her term in 2024.

However, her condition upon her return to the Senate this month after a lengthy absence for health reasons increased the buzz that her physical and mental status might preclude her from remaining in the Senate that long, according to The Associated Press.

California law allows Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint anyone he wants to fill the position for the rest of the term should Feinstein step aside. However, because Newsom has promised that a black woman would fill Feinstein’s slot if she were to retire, that limits his choices.

“He made the commitment, and I do not believe there is any wiggle room for the governor not to honor his commitment,” said Kerman Maddox, a black Los Angeles-based Democratic strategist and fundraiser.

“Newsom must honor his promise to appoint a black woman. I trust him at his word. We currently have zero black women in the Senate, so if the opportunity becomes available the governor must act to help remedy this lack of representation,” said Democratic state Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, who heads the Legislative Black Caucus.

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