Katie Porter Announces Bid for Feinstein Senate Seat

January 10, 2023 by Dan McCue
Katie Porter Announces Bid for Feinstein Senate Seat
Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., fresh off a successful bid to be elected to represent California’s newly redistricted 47th Congressional District, announced Tuesday she is a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2024, seeking the seat currently held by Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.

Feinstein, who will be approaching 90 when her current term is up, has not said whether she plans to run in 2024 — putting off an announcement until the Spring — and told the Los Angeles Times recently that she will “absolutely serve out the rest of her term.”

“There’s still two years, you know. A lot can happen in two years,” she told the newspaper.

“The senator has no plans to step down and will announce her plans for 2024 at the appropriate time,” a spokesman told the paper.

Porter, who served two terms, from 2019 to 2023, representing California’s 45th Congressional District before the state’s maps were redrawn, is the first candidate to formally declare her candidacy for the seat.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has publicly stated that he’s interested in running, and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., is considered another likely candidate.

In a YouTube video announcing her bid, Porter accuses “leaders like [Republican Sen.] Mitch McConnell, [R-Ky.],” of making the U.S. Senate “the place where rights get revoked, special interests get rewarded, and … Democracy gets rigged.”

“Especially in times like these, California needs a warrior in Washington. That’s exactly why I’m announcing my candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2024,” she said.

The representative, who was captured last week reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK,” during the extended, four-day vote that ended with fellow Californian Rep. Kevin McCarthy elected as speaker, conceded “I don’t do Congress the way others often do.

“I use whatever power I have to speak hard truths to the powers that be to not just challenge the status quo, but call it out, name names and demand justice,” she said. “That goes for taking on Wall Street and the big banks, big oil and Big Pharma. 

“It’s why I refuse to accept corporate PAC and lobbyists’ campaign money. I don’t want it and I’m leading the fight to ban congressional stock trading because it’s just wrong. To win these fights, it’s time for new leadership in the U.S. Senate,” Porter said.

Though considered to be in good health, Feinstein had a cardiac pacemaker inserted at George Washington University Hospital in January 2017 and since then speculation has swirled about her ability to do her job.

In April 2022, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article about Feinstein’s alleged cognitive decline, citing a series of off-the-record interviews supposedly with at least four of her fellow senators, three former staffers and a member of Congress.

They reportedly told the newspaper that Feinstein has good days and bad days, but on the bad ones is not as sharp as she used to be and sometimes has trouble recognizing longtime colleagues.

Feinstein responded with a written statement in which she said, “I’m still an effective representative for 40 million Californians.” 

She also spoke by phone to members of the Chronicle’s editorial board, saying, “I meet regularly with leaders. I’m not isolated. I see people. My attendance is good. I put in the hours. We represent a huge state. And so I’m rather puzzled by all of this.”

Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dismissed the story, calling it “unconscionable” and “ridiculous.”

Contacted by The Well News, Sen. Feinstein said, “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. 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.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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