Katie Porter announces candidacy for US Senate

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Katie Porter, a third-term Democrat from California who studied under Elizabeth Warren at Harvard University and became a darling of liberal Democrats on social media, said Tuesday she will run in 2024 for the Senate seat held by by Dianne Feinstein.

Ms. Porter, 49, is the first announced challenger to Ms. Feinstein, 89, who has not announced her intentions in 2024 but is expected not to seek re-election amid Democratic concerns about her age and ability to serve. Last year, Ms. Feinstein declined to serve as Senate president and earlier resigned from his post as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is under enormous pressure after the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

“It’s time for new leadership in the U.S. Senate,” Ms. Porter said video that reports her campaign.

Ms. Feinstein, in a statement released by her office, said she “will make an announcement regarding my plans for 2024 at the appropriate time.” She said she is focused on dealing with the deadly storms hitting California.

Ms Porter’s early campaign announcement – which echoes Ms Warren’s entry into the 2020 presidential race, when she was the first great democrat to go into bidding – kicking off a race that is sure to be among the most expensive intra-party contests in the country. A vaunted fundraiser, Ms. Porter became widely known for her combative attitude toward financial sector witnesses and Trump administration officials who appeared before her on the House Oversight Committee.

The Iowa-born Ms. Porter was a top surrogate for Ms. Warren’s 2020 campaign and often hosted small events promoting her mentor. She worked as a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, and in 2012 was appointed by Kamala Harris, then California’s attorney general, to oversee the $9 billion settlement after the subprime crisis. She was elected to Congress in 2018.

Other California Democrats believed to be considering runs for Ms. Feinstein’s Senate seat include Representative Adam Schiff, who has already hired staff in preparation for a statewide campaign, and Representative Barbara Lee, who has told donors about the plans to apply. Neither has officially announced a campaign.

“It’s going to be a very exciting race with some incredible people — several have already spoken to me,” said former senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, who served four terms alongside Ms. Feinstein before retiring in 2016. The fact that Katie Porter has announced, I think that will open the door for very early announcements.”

California, the nation’s most populous state with nearly 40 million residents, has not hosted a highly competitive race for an open Senate seat since 1992, when Ms. Feinstein and Ms. Boxer were first elected.

Ms. Feinstein, in her sixth term, was haunted by questions regarding her fitness to serve. Her short-term memory problems have become an open secret on Capitol Hill, though few Democrats are willing to discuss the topic publicly.

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