Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) announced on Tuesday that she will run for the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in 2024, in what could set off a fierce primary battle in the Golden State.
“California needs a warrior in the Senate — to stand up to special interests, fight the dangerous imbalance in our economy, and hold so-called leaders like Mitch McConnell accountable for rigging our democracy,” Porter said in a tweet announcing her Senate run.
“Today, I’m proud to announce my candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2024,” she added.
Feinstein, 89, has represented California in the US Senate since 1992. She has not made any announcements regarding her plans for 2024, but has filed reelection paperwork with the FEC.
Porter, who was elected to represent California’s 45th District in 2018 and has been reelected to Congress twice since, edged out her Republican opponent Scott Baugh by about 7,000 votes in 2022 to win the redistricted 47th Congressional District.
A Harvard Law grad, Porter studied under future Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at the Ivy League school and was a law professor before entering politics.
In one of many viral moments from last week’s GOP efforts to elect a speaker of the House, Porter was spotted on the floor of the lower chamber reading a self-help book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F–k,” as the GOP House conference was in turmoil.
Porter also made headlines last month over accusations that she demoted a staffer after she accused the staffer of giving her COVID-19.
Sasha Georgiades, a Navy veteran who joined Porter’s office in 2020 as a Wounded Warrior Fellow, told Reason magazine in December that she was relegated to working remotely for the last several weeks of her fellowship and never heard from her boss again after Porter lashed out at her for allegedly not following office protocol on testing.
If Feinstein were to retire rather than seek a sixth term in the Senate, a number of high-profile pols aside from Porter could also jump into the race.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has been urged by progressives to consider running for the seat, according to Politico, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has publicly announced that he is exploring his own bid. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), California Lt. Gov Eleni Kounalakis, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Biden administration Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra are also considered potential challengers to the seat.
A bombshell report in the San Francisco Chronicle last year revealed that some Democratic colleagues of Feinstien are worried about her cognitive decline.
“It’s bad, and it’s getting worse,” one Democratic senator told the outlet, which also reported that a member of California’s congressional delegation who has known Feinstein for 15 years had to reintroduce themselves to her repeatedly over a discussion lasting several hours.