Now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the presumptive president-elect and vice president-elect – assuming President Donald Trump's legal challenges fall short – all eyes have shifted to California. Who will Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tap to fill Harris' seat in the Senate?
That question can be answered by none other than former San Francisco Mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. He's the man Harris had an extramarital affair with more than 20 years ago. He wrote an op-ed last year detailing how he used his position to advance Harris and her political career.
In case you need a refresher:
Elephant in the room: I’ve been peppered with calls from the national media about my “relationship” with Kamala Harris, most of which I have not returned.
Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago. Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker.
And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco. I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians.
Brown appointed Harris, who was still fresh out of law school, to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the California Medical Assistance Commission, both very well-paid positions, the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time. The two positions paid more than $400,000 over five years.
It's plausible that Brown will have a say, especially considering he said he helped Harris and Newsom's political careers. After all, Brown is working with "Black churches, pastors, civic leaders, fraternal organizations and prominent members of the Black press statewide to urge Newsom to consider leading Black women for the seat," POLITICO reported.
Brown has a few women that have made his shortlist, including Reps. Barbara Lee, Karen Bass and Maxine Waters, as well as San Francisco Mayor London Breed and state Sen. Holly Mitchell.
"There's no way that Gavin Newsom should allow anyone other than a Black woman to fill the seat of Harris, who's only the second Black woman in the history of the U.S. Senate," Brown told POLITICO. "There should be no contest."
Next week, 150 of the state's biggest groups of women donors will send a letter to Newsom demanding he appoint a woman of color, Vox reported. The letter will appear in full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.
"We urge you to continue this Californian tradition by appointing a woman of color to Vice President-elect Harris’s US Senate seat," the letter states. "Women of color are the core drivers of electoral progress in our country, and their voices should be heard in the nation’s highest governing body. California is fortunate to have a strong pipeline of women of color in elected office who are prepared to serve; as Californians and political supporters, we look forward to you selecting one of them."
Let's see if Willie Brown gets what he wants... again.