California Sen. Laphonza Butler will not seek to be elected to a full term in 2024 after she was recently appointed to succeed the late Dianne Feinstein, a decision that removes one potential candidate from an already crowded field, she said in a statement on Thursday.

“I’ve spent the past 16 days pursuing my clarity – what kind of life I want to have, what kind of service I want to offer and what kind of voice I want to bring forward,” she said. “After considering those questions, I’ve decided not to run for Senate in the upcoming election.”

Butler, a longtime Democratic strategist and labor leader in California who has never held elected office before, added that “knowing you can win a campaign doesn’t always mean you should run a campaign” and said that while the decision may have caught some by surprise, “it’s the right one for me.”

The news was first reported by The New York Times.

Butler’s appointment helped California Gov. Gavin Newsom fulfill his promise to appoint a Black woman to Feinstein’s seat in the event of a vacancy. When Butler was sworn in on Oct. 3, she became only the third Black woman to ever serve in the upper chamber. She took her oath from Vice President Kamala Harris, who was the second.

Formerly the president of EMILY’s List, a pro-abortion access political group, Butler is also only the second openly gay woman to serve in the Senate after Tammy Baldwin was elected in 2012 in Wisconsin.

With Butler’s decision to step aside from the 2024 race, she clears the way for an open primary to succeed Feinstein.

The crowded primary field already features three high-profile congressional Democrats: Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee. In California, all candidates run in the primary together regardless of party, with the top two advancing to the general election next November.