California’s longest-serving senator, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who served for 30 years has passed away at the age of 90.
Ms. Feinstein’s passing occurred on Thursday night, confirmed by a family member, and was officially conveyed to her staff on Friday morning after rumors had circulated on Capitol Hill.
Her passing has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the nation’s capital, leaving a void in the political landscape.
Originally intending to retire at the culmination of her term in 2025, Ms. Feinstein’s sudden demise has thrust Governor Gavin Newsom of California into the spotlight.
With a crowded Democratic primary already in motion for her seat, Governor Newsom faces the critical task of swiftly appointing a successor, considering the slim majority that Democrats currently hold in the Senate.
Furthermore, he had previously committed to selecting a Black woman for the position.
At 90 years old, Ms. Feinstein was the oldest member of Congress.
Her declining health and struggles with memory in recent years had sparked calls for her resignation, which she adamantly resisted.
Her prolonged public decline served as a poignant reminder of the advanced age of many Congressional members, particularly in the Senate, where several continue to serve well past retirement age.
Her health had deteriorated significantly over the past few months, following complications from a shingles outbreak that led to encephalitis, necessitating her use of a wheelchair within the Capitol’s halls.