Rep. Katie Porter announced her 2024 bid for U.S. Senate early Tuesday morning. Several of her colleagues may be next.
The Democratic congresswoman from Orange County officially became the first to throw her hat in the ring to try and succeed longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has not said whether she plans to retire.
Here’s a look at who else might make a play for the seat, especially if Feinstein does announce her retirement.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, is mulling a Senate bid in 2024, and a source close to Schiff said Tuesday that his camp was surprised by the timing of Porter’s announcement.
Schiff — among his party’s top fundraisers and whose profile took a leap when he was among the top Democrats who led the impeachment push of former President Donald Trump — has said he is interested in running for the seat should Feinstein retire. This week, however, Schiff is engaged in work and aid related to the recent storms that have swept California, the source said.
According to Politico, Schiff met with Feinstein to inform her of his plans should she retire.
Dan Schnur, a former campaign consultant who teaches at UC Berkeley and USC, said historically when people have tried to push Feinstein out the door, she pushes back. And Porter making a move before Feinstein has made any public announcement could turn the senator’s supporters toward another candidate, like Schiff.
Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland has long been regarded as a frontrunner in the race if Feinstein steps down at the end of her current term. Lee’s name came up after Gov. Gavin Newsom responded positively when asked if he would replace Feinstein with a Black woman should she step down before her term ends.
Lee did not say whether she plans to run but decried the lack of Black women in the U.S. Senate in a statement Tuesday.
“California deserves a Senator with a record of accomplishment and a progressive vision,” Lee said. “While the United States Senate is sorely lacking the presence of people of color, Black women in particular, today I am focused on helping Californians stay safe in this extreme weather and fighting the House Republicans’ extreme agenda.”
Rep. Ro Khanna is another California Democrat who may face off against Porter for the seat in 2024.
In response to Porter’s announcement and questions as to whether he will run, Khanna, D-Silicion Valley, said he will make his decision in the next few months.
“Right now, California is facing severe storms and floods, and my district is facing historic weather conditions,” Khanna said. “My focus is on that. In the next few months, I will make a decision.”
Although he’s said numerous times he won’t, there is widespread speculation Gov. Gavin Newsom might be gearing up for a potential presidential bid in 2024. But should he forgo that race, one path to remaining in elected office could be through Feinstein’s seat.
Newsom’s current and second gubernatorial term is up in 2026, and term limits prevent him from running for that office again.
Ryan Carter contributed to this report.