Since the last report by the Globe in February, the 2024 California U.S. Senate Race For Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat has continued to evolve, with more candidates looking for a possible run, others confirming they’re out, and some making plays to garner more attention early on in the race. With the lines still blurred for many, the Globe decided to take another look where the race currently stands in mid-March.
Who is in?
No one major has officially entered the race in the last several months. The Democrats still consist of the big three: Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Amongst Republicans, only one, Educator Denice Gary-Pandol, has officially entered. No other parties have had anyone enter yet either, including independent candidates.
Who may be in?
The biggest candidate for the Democrats who has expressed interest is Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), who has yet to officially decide either way. Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA), Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, and Governor Gavin Newsom have all yet to officially rule out a run as well.
The GOP, meanwhile, has seen more candidates file to run. Healthcare Executive James Bradley filed to run earlier this month for the second Senate race in a row, joining 2016 Oakland Mayoral candidate Peter Liu and lawyer Barack Mandela. Lawyer Eric Early has, like Khanna, also expressed interest.
A run by a known celebrity or other prominent lawmaker who hasn’t been considered yet is also possible, as is a third-party candidate or independent candidate.
Who is out?
Joining Feinstein, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, SF Mayor London Breed, former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell on the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ list this month is former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. While he had not been expected in the race, a speculatory run began to gain traction several weeks ago, causing him to say no. More are also expected to join them in the coming months.
Who is backing who?
Endorsements have still come fleetingly in the race so far. Schiff has gotten dozens of State Senators and Assemblymembers to support him, as well as Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and over a dozen members of Congress. Lee has gotten Breed, Schaaf, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, a few out of state lawmakers, and United Farm Workers (UFW) co-founder Dolores Huerta. And, despite her claiming that her run will have no gimmicks involved, numerous actors have come out in support of her, including Danny Glover and Jamie Foxx.
Meanwhile, Porter has remained pretty stagnant, still clinging on to the initial endorsement of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
With the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, both Porter and Schiff have been trying to tackle banking issues in it’s wake, potentially bringing in additional support that could garner more endorsements.
What is coming up next?
Final decisions by potential candidates will likely be coming this Spring, with Khanna and a potential major Republican candidate being the most anticipated.
New polls are also likely to show where Californians currently stand, as well as new endorsements being likely. Should Newsom not run, his endorsement would be the most sought after by candidates, as would a potential endorsement from President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris.
With big shifts expected soon in the race, the Spring is expected to solidify who is running for the Senate.
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