Porter, who narrowly won re-election in California’s newly redistricted 47th district in November, was first elected in 2018 and has staked her claim as a rising star on the progressive left.
“Especially in times like these, California needs a warrior in the Senate,” Porter said in her announcement video.
Porter is the first to declare in a race that’s still 22 months away, and her announcement came on a day that storms walloped California, with at least 14 dying since storms, flooding, and mudslides hit the state last week.
“It’s fucking crazy that she would announce in the middle of a natural disaster,” a person close to Rep. Adam Schiff, who has expressed interest in running for the seat only if Feinstein retires, told the Los Angeles Times.
“Right now, California is facing severe storms and floods, and my district is facing historic weather conditions,” Rep. Ro Khanna, who’s also considering a bid, told the Times. “My focus is on that. In the next few months, I will make a decision.”
Politico likewise quoted a person close to Schiff saying they were “perplexed” by the timing of Porter’s announcement.
Feinstein, who is 89 and whose mental acuity has been questioned lately, has faced significant speculation she’ll retire at the end of her term, but has yet to confirm one way or the other.
“Everyone is of course welcome to throw their hat in the ring, and I will make an announcement concerning my plans for 2024 at the appropriate time,” the senator said in a cryptic statement Tuesday.
She echoed Khanna’s barb about Porter’s timing, adding: “Right now I’m focused on ensuring California has all the resources it needs to cope with the devastating storms slamming the state and leaving more than a dozen dead.”
California uses a top-two primary system, meaning the two candidates with the most votes are the ones on the general ballot. Feinstein also faced Democratic opposition in 2018’s general election, when she toppled Kevin De Leon—the now disgraced L.A. city council member—with 54 percent of the vote.
The Daily Beast