Republican Candidates in the 2024 U.S. Senate election began to receive endorsements this week following months of waiting to see what the full field would look like.
Democratic candidates have been receiving dozens of endorsements for months now from organizations, unions, lawmakers, prominent individuals. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has a wide array of endorsements with most higher state officials, 20 congressional members, 6 state Senators, 11 Assemblymembers, 11 mayors of major Californian cities, a variety of famous individuals including actors and activists, and over a dozen political organizations. Among her most prominent supporters are California Attorney General Rob Bonta, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and United Farm Workers co-Founder Dolores Huerta.
Congressman Adam Schiff, meanwhile, has kept up with the number of endorsements Lee received. As of Thursday, he has the endorsement of 29 Congressional members, 9 state Senators, 10 Assemblymembers, several unions, and several major local leaders. Bigger names in his corner include Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and the IATSE union.
The third major candidate, Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), has been leading most polls in a neck-to-neck race with Schiff, but has only received a handful of endorsements. However, some of the names are prominent, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland).
However, until recently, GOP candidates had not received any big endorsements, waiting on the final candidates and for more up to date election polling data. Healthcare executive James Bradley, the lead Republican in GOP polls, has filed paperwork but has yet to announce an official run. Former Major League Baseball player Steve Garvey has also expressed interest in a run, but so far, has not taken further action. For months, Republicans have waited to see who, for sure, was in the race.
But with crunch time approaching, many groups and individuals finally began formal endorsements for GOP candidates this week. Lawyer Eric Early, the most prominent Republican candidate currently in the race, has been the main beneficiary. Thanks in part to polls showing that he has a decent chance of making it past the primary because of the split Democratic ticket, Early has been catching up to the other candidates. In the last few days, he has gotten endorsements from former LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, the Yuba County Republican Party, and the Nevada County Republican Party, with more likely to come in soon.
“I have known Eric Early for many years and strongly endorse him to be California’s next US Senator,” said Antonovich in a statement this week. “With skyrocketing crime, open borders, teachers being forced to keep parents in the dark, homelessness and inflation plaguing California, it’s clear that we need an outsider to shake up the status quo and fight for real solutions. As a successful businessman and attorney, Eric knows how to get things done and is the person we need representing us in the US Senate.”
With Early now getting larger endorsements, political experts have noted that other GOP candidates will need to formally enter the race soon if they want to compete with Early for endorsements before the Primary in March.
“Endorsements are by no means a 100% indicator,” said Stephanie Lewis, a pollster in Southern California. “Right now Barbara Lee is killing it in getting endorsements, but she is not doing very well in polls, with even GOP candidates starting to get the better of her. But some voters do care very much about endorsements. And if GOP candidates are facing the same kind of split that the Democrats are, they are more crucial. Democrats should also be worried because Early, Bradley, and Garvey all have enough support to potentially knock two of the major 3 Democrats out in the Primary. Early getting these endorsements now show that people are now getting seriousness, with all potential candidates needing to make up their mind soon.”
“There are 7 GOP candidates, plus several who are maybes. If support goes behind Early now, he could pull forward out of sheer momentum. He got the endorsements before them and is really living up to his last name. The next several weeks will really begin to show exactly what the field is going to be like.”
More GOP endorsements are likely to be given out soon.