SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said he doesn't want to appoint a replacement for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and he will leave the decision of resigning up to her.
"I don't want to make another appointment. I don't think the people of California want me to make another appointment," Newsom said on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
Feinstein, 90, said earlier in the year that she won't seek reelection in 2024. She is the oldest sitting member of Congress and has faced questions in recent years about her cognitive health and memory, though she has defended her effectiveness representing a state that is home to nearly 40 million people.
Newsom said he would make an "interim" appointment if he had to, and he wouldn't pick any of the candidates already running for the seat. That would appear to eliminate Southern California candidates Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter from consideration, as well as Bay Area Rep. Barbara Lee, who is Black.
"It would be completely unfair to the Democrats [who] have worked their tails off," Newsom said. "That primary is just a matter of months away. I don't want to tip the balance of that."
In 2021, Newsom said he'd appoint a Black woman to replace Feinstein if she retires before her term is up. Newsom committed to that pledge during the interview.
"We hope we never have to make this decision, but I abide by what I've said very publicly on a consistent basis. Yes," Newsom said.
Newsom also said he's hopeful a proposed debate between him and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will still happen. He says they're still working on a date and a possible venue.
He reiterated he has no plans of running for president in 2024.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.