Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff is reportedly pushing for Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint him the state’s next attorney general, people familiar with the matter told Axios.
Schiff currently chairs the House Intelligence Committee and is a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meaning House Democrats could lose an influential member and further narrow their already slim majority if he were appointed. But Pelosi has reportedly offered her support for Schiff’s bid, according to Axios.
Rep. Adam Schiff is quietly lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies to appoint him California’s next attorney general, according to people familiar with the matter. https://t.co/Z2zo33hgWt
— Axios (@axios) February 3, 2021
Xavier Becerra is the incumbent California Attorney General but was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as Health and Human Services Secretary. Becerra is expected to be confirmed as Senate Democrats control a narrow majority in the chamber, but his confirmation has been staunchly opposed by conservative groups.
Becerra’s confirmation would allow Newsom to appoint his successor. This would follow in a series of high-profile appointments by Newsom, who previously tapped California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Vice President Kamala Harris’ vacated Senate seat.
If Schiff were appointed California’s next attorney general, his Los Angeles-based congressional district would be a safe seat for Democrats. But it could take roughly six months for a special election to determine his successor, according to Axios.
A statewide role could also position Schiff to run for Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, according to Axios. Although initial reports suggested the 87-year-old senator would run again in 2024, a spokesperson told Los Angeles Magazine in January there was “no announcement” regarding her future plans.
Newsom has not publicly commented on the appointment. But figures including State Assembly member Rob Bonta and Equality California director Rick Chavez Zbur are reportedly considered frontrunners, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It’s pretty clear that there are advocates for their favorites,” political strategist Bill Carrick told Axios. “But it’s not clear that that will have any influence on the one person who will make the decision: Gov. Gavin Newsom.”