Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) announced on Twitter Tuesday that she will be running for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) Senate seat in 2024, opening the door for what could be a contentious Senate primary and general election next year.
Originally from Iowa, Porter bounced around the Country in the 2000’s after graduating from Yale University and Harvard University for her Bachelor’s and Law Degree respectively. Starting off as a law clerk for an 8th District Appellate judge in Arkansas, she then practiced law in Portland, Oregon, became an associate professor at UNLV in Las Vegas, became a full professor at the University of Iowa, and in 2011, finally arrived in California by taking a Professorship at UC Irvine.
Porter ran for Congress in 2018, narrowly winning her Orange County seat over the incumbent Mimi Walters. She followed that with razor thin wins in 2020 and 2022, with the later election finalizing with her winning by less than ten thousand votes. With a thinning number of supporters, her district is already expected to be on the fence for Democrats in 2024 should she run for reelection there next year.
Her tenure in Congress has been marked by unusual behavior, such as her propensity to use whiteboards and other rarely seen media during speeches, her confusing style of questioning, and immature behavior, with the most recent incident for the latter coming only days ago when she was spotted during the House speaker votes pretending to read a book titled “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck“. This behavior has led her to either be dismissed from or not included on several House committees by fellow Democrats, including the Financial Services Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, and the Oversight Committee. Other behavior, such as allegations of racism and running a toxic workplace, have also put her in a lesser light in recent years.
Despite these issues, Porter announced a run for the Senate in 2024 for Senator Feinstein’s seat. In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Porter said that “Change can be electrifying and exhilarating, but change can also be disruptive. Like the constant assault on our Democracy and the dangerous imbalance in our economy. The threat from so-called leaders like Mitch McConnel has too often made the Senate a place where rights get revoked, special interests get rewarded, and our Democracy get rigged.”
“Especially in times like these, California needs a warrior in Washington. That’s exactly why I’m announcing my candidacy for the United States Senate in 2024. I don’t do Congress as 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 to call it out, name names, and demand justice. 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 lobbyist 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. Thank you for caring for the California we can build together.”
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.
Today, I'm proud to announce my candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2024. pic.twitter.com/X1CSE8T12B
— Katie Porter (@katieporteroc) January 10, 2023
Others expected to announce Senate runs soon
Reaction to her announcement was mixed on Tuesday. Many progressives praised her decision to run for Congress, while many Democrats noted relief in that new candidates were entering in the race following questions of Senator Feinstein’s health. However, many moderate Democrats and Republicans raised questions on her run on Tuesday as well, pointing out several flaws in her decision. “Candidates will have a field day pointing out different things that could halt her run butt cold,” explained Malik Griffin, a Los Angeles polling analyst, to the Globe on Tuesday. “There are a lot of questions to how well she could perform. She has barely hung onto her Congressional seat. In a jungle primary, against more solid Democrats or more experienced Republicans, she’s not going to fare nearly as well. There are questions over whether she is ready, as she is still pulling off prop stunts going into her third term. In fact, I’ve heard some constituents call her ‘a worse Carrot Top’ for doing that, and that is nowhere near a compliment.”
“And there is a lot of other minor factors too going against her. She can be called a carpet-bagger, as she’s only been in the state for 12 years. Other Senators like Bobby Kennedy and Hillary Clinton got away with it for less time in-state, but she is nowhere near their name level. There’s the fact that she’s from SoCal, and if she wins, both Senate seats will be from SoCal people, and a lot of people in NorCal, especially San Francisco, won’t like that. It may seem like such a minor thing to worry about, but it really does matter, and many might vote against her for a more local candidate just based on geography alone.”
“She has her pointed questioning going in her favor, as well as being known by many average voters outside her district. But the fact that even many fellow Democrats don’t especially want to deal with her should put up some red flags. And let’s not forget all those racism and toxic workplace allegations that have popped up as well. That’s a lot of baggage for any one candidate to bring.”
The 2024 Senate race is expected to be much more nuanced than the 2018 race, in which Feinstein soundly defeated then state Assemblyman Kevin de Leon. In addition to Feinstein probably running again despite her advanced age, several other Democrats, including Congressional Reps Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), have been rumored to also be looking to run. Schiff himself has reportedly even gone to Feinstein herself to tell of his intentions, something which Porter ignored on Tuesday.
“Say what you will about Schiff and other Democrats out there, but they’re giving common courtesy to Feinstein about what they want to do,” added Griffin. “Porter just announced like someone out of the party would.”
Others are expected to announce their 2024 Senate runs soon.
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