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Longtime senator Dianne Feinstein reacts to Katie Porter’s newly announced California Senate bid

Katie Porter’s campaign announcement comes despite the fact Dianne Feinstein has not announced whether she will seek re-election

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 11 January 2023 12:43 GMT
California Rep. Katie Porter announces run for Feinsteins Senate seat

Senator Dianne Feinstein brushed off progressive Democratic Representative Katie Porter’s announcement that she will run for Senate in California.

Ms Porter made the announcement via a video on social media on Tuesday.

“In times like these, California needs a warrior in Washington,” she said. “I don’t do Congress the way others often do. I use whatever powers I have to speak hard truths to the powers that be.”

Her announcement comes despite the fact that Ms Feinstein, the state’s long-serving Senator, has not announced whether she will seek another term in 2024, when she will face re-election. The incumbent told The San Francisco Chronicle that Ms Porter’s announcement will not affect her decision.

“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,” she said. “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.”

But at age 89, Ms Feinstein is not expected to seek another term as Senator. She passed up the chance to be Senate President Pro Tempore, making Senator Patty Murray of Washington the top-ranking official in the Senate.

Ms Porter is a former law school professor who studied under Senator Elizabeth Warren when Ms Warren was a professor at Harvard Law School. Like Ms Warren, she has made a name for herself in the House of Representatives for her aggressive questioning of business executives and Trump administration officials, often while using a whiteboard to break down statistics.

Those questionings have often gone viral on social media. Most recently, during the convoluted vote for speaker, Ms Porter was seen reading a book entitled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

She first won a seat in 2018 when she beat Republican Representative Mimi Walters in a district that encompasses the suburbs of Orange County. Ms Porter won the seat again in 2020 but underformed President Joe Biden’s victory in the district. She narrowly won re-election by 3.4 percentage points in November despite aggressive spending by Republicans to flip the seat.

Ms Porter is likely to face a contested race regardless of whether Ms Feinstein seeks another term. Representatives Adam Schiff, Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee have all hinted the idea of running for Senate. Similarly, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has been floated as a potential Senate candidate.

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