California Representative Adam Schiff has announced a run for Senate, aiming for the seat currently held by Senator Diane Feinstein.
His announcement means there are potentially as many as four Democratic candidates seeking the seat, if Feinstein seeks re-election.
So far, the incumbent hasn’t said whether she plans to do so, though she has filed initial paperwork.
She said in December that she would make the decision “in the next few months,” as she continues to deal with the passing of her husband last year.
If she doesn’t, Schiff joins Representatives Katie Porter and Barbara Lee as her potential successors.
Schiff has spent the last several years in the House battling against Trumpism, and most recently, took a significant role in the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on Congress.
For this and his other efforts to hold the former president and his allies accountable, his House Republican colleagues are punishing him, with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, just this week booting him off the Intelligence Committee.
Meanwhile, the balance of the Senate is precarious, and every strong Democratic candidate who could help keep a seat in progressive hands is a net positive.
Schiff’s announcement video, dropped Thursday morning, focuses heavily on his reputation with the far-right, including clips of Trump, McCarthy, and right-wing media personalities Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity attacking and insulting him. (You’ll see that video below.)
He’s also reminding the public of his record in Congress, including leading Trump’s impeachment.
In a Wednesday press conference, he said that if McCarthy and Trump think they can stop him from fighting for Democracy by kicking him off of Committees, “they’re going to find out the opposite is true.”
As for Feinstein, there’s speculation that the 89-year-old could be nearing readiness to step aside. The Washington Post reports:
“As the oldest sitting senator, Feinstein has for years waved off questions about her age and ability to serve but has also relinquished a number of key roles in recent years…Last year, Feinstein declined consideration to become president pro tempore of the Senate, a position that traditionally goes to the most senior senator of the party in power and is third in line to the presidency.”
Feinstein spoke in December about the struggle of losing her husband, and said that she had not yet made a decision about re-election.
Meanwhile Senator Feinstein told a large group of reporters at a gaggle yesterday that she would make her decision about 2024 “probably in a couple of months.”
Feinstein added, “My husband passed away not too long ago. And so I'm still going through that.” https://t.co/OTg0P9QRiF
— Kelly Phares (@kellyfphares) January 26, 2023
Schiff had already met with her in November, though, Politico reports, to discuss running for her seat if she does choose to retire. Feinstein has not stated who she might support as her successor in that event.
California Governor Gavin Newsome has also indicated that, if Feinstein should decide to retire before her term has ended, he already has candidates in mind to be appointed to her seat until the next election.
Our democracy is at great risk. Because GOP leaders care more about power than anything else.
And because our economy isn’t working for millions of hard working Americans.
We’re in the fight of our lives—a fight I’m ready to lead as California’s next U.S. Senator. pic.twitter.com/H0Pa0EhhMu
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) January 26, 2023