Laphonza Romanique Butler (lə-FON-zə; born May 11, 1979) is an American labor union official and politician serving as the junior United States senator from California since 2023. Butler began her career as a union organizer, and served as president of California SEIU State Council from 2013 to 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, she was a regent of the University of California system from 2018 to 2021, and the president of EMILY's List from 2021 to 2023. On October 1, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom chose Butler to fill the United States Senate seat left vacant by the death of Dianne Feinstein. She is the first LGBT African American to serve in the Senate.
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