California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has died at the age of 90 after suffering from health issues for more than a year, multiple sources have confirmed. Her cause of death has not been confirmed at this time.
Feinstein was first elected in 1992 and was the longest-serving female senator. She became the first female mayor of San Francisco in 1978 following the assassinations of then-Mayor George Moscone and then-supervisor Harvey Milk. Feinstein was also the first female president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The New York Times reported last month that Feinstein’s daughter, Katherine Feinstein, was granted power of attorney. A week later, Feinstein was briefly hospitalized after falling at her San Francisco residence, according to her office.
A spokesperson stated at the time, “Senator Feinstein briefly went to the hospital yesterday afternoon as a precaution after a minor fall in her home. All of her scans were clear and she returned home.”
Feinstein’s extensive health issues have sparked concerns regarding her fitness for office and prompted calls for her resignation. The senator had plans to retire at the end of her current term.
On Wednesday, the senator cast a vote at 11:45 a.m. but missed two votes later that same day, according to congressional records.
With her Senate seat vacant, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will name a temporary successor. Several Democrats, including Representatives Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, and Katie Porter, have been vying to replace Feinstein in the next election. Newsom recently stated that he would not appoint any of them to Feinstein’s seat should it become vacant before the end of her term in January 2025. He noted he would make an “interim appointment” if necessary.
“Yes. Interim appointment. I don’t want to get involved in the primary,” Newsom told NBC News earlier this month. “It would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off. That primary is just a matter of months away. I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”
Feinstein’s office did not respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.
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