Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to retire, opening up California seat

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., listens to Peiter Mudge Zatko, former head of security at Twitter, testify during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Data Security at Risk: Testimony from a Twitter Whistleblower, in Hart Building Tuesday, September 13, 2022. Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California announced she will retire at the end of her current term.
  • Feinstein, 89, is the oldest sitting U.S. senator and the longest-serving senator from her state.
  • Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, both California Democrats, have already launched campaigns for Feinstein’s Senate seat.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California announced Tuesday that she will retire at the end of her current term, setting up a major Democratic competition for her coveted seat.

Feinstein, who at 89 is the oldest sitting U.S. senator and the longest-serving senator from her state, said she intends to “accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends.”

“Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives,” Feinstein said in a statement.

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The fight for the open Senate seat in the powerful, reliably blue state of California promises to be one of the most competitive — and expensive — races of the 2024 election cycle.

While Feinstein’s announcement officially puts her seat in play for the 2024 election cycle, multiple California Democrats had already launched Senate campaigns weeks earlier.

Rep. Katie Porter was first out of the gate, announcing her Senate bid on Jan. 10 and touting an endorsement from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., soon after.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, threw his hat in the ring late last month.

Those candidates have projected deference toward Feinstein, even as they entered the race to succeed her prior to the announcement of her widely anticipated retirement.

“She has so much to teach all of us,” Porter said of Feinstein last month, adding that she had tried to reach out to the senator before launching her Senate campaign.

Former House Speaker and current Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., earlier this month issued a qualified endorsement of Schiff that heaped praise on Feinstein and vowed to back her if she decided to run again.

More California Democrats, including Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna, are expected to announce their Senate campaign plans soon.

Source: CNBC


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