- California senator Dianne Feinstein has announced her intention to retire at the conclusion of her current term.
- Feinstein, who is 89 years old, is the oldest U.S. senator currently serving and also the longest-serving senator representing her state.
- Reps. Adam Schiff (California Democrats) and Katie Porter (California Democrats) have launched campaigns to win Feinstein’s Senate seat.
California senator Dianne Feinstein announced Tuesday her intention to retire at the close of her current term. This will create a major Democratic contest for her seat.
Feinstein, who is 89 years old and the oldest U.S. senator, stated that she plans to continue her work. “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.
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.
Feinstein’s announcement officially places Feinstein in the running for the 2024 election cycle. However, many California Democrats had already started Senate campaigns weeks prior.
Rep. Katie Porter, D-Mass. was the first one to arrive at the event, announcing her Senate campaign on Jan. 10, and touting an endorsement by Sen. Elizabeth Warren shortly thereafter.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, threw his hat in the ring late last month.
These candidates displayed deference towards Feinstein even though they entered the race for her successor before the widely anticipated retirement announcement.
“She has so much to teach all of us,” Porter spoke last month about Feinstein, and said that she tried to reach out before launching her Senate campaign.
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former House Speaker, issued earlier this month a qualified endorsement Schiff that praised Feinstein and promised to support her if she ran again.
More California Democrats, including Reps. Barbara Lee, Ro Khanna and Ro Khanna are expected to announce soon their Senate campaign plans.
Feinstein’s career in politics got a terrible start after she was appointed acting mayor of San Francisco in 1978 following the assassination of George Moscone (then-mayor of San Francisco) and Harvey Milk (Board of Supervisors member). Soon after her assassination, she was elected the first woman mayor of San Francisco.
Feinstein was elected U.S. Senate after a failed bid for governor. In 1994 she was reelected for the first of five consecutive full terms. She was elected California’s longest-serving senator in 2021. In November, she became the longest-serving female senator in U.S. Senate history.
Feinstein’s political life is marked by a number firsts for women.
On Tuesday afternoon, her retirement announcement referred to a number her legislative accomplishments. These included the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and her oversight of CIA interrogation policies. passage Anti-torture legislation
Feinstein, in her final session of the Senate, vowed that she would continue to work on issues such California’s homelessness crisis as well as its struggles with droughts or wildfires.
“Congress has enacted legislation on all of these topics over the past several years, but more needs to be done – and I will continue these efforts,” She said so in the statement.
She promised to continue her fight against gun violence to protect “our pristine lands” She said she would promote economic growth and use her position as a member of the powerful appropriations panel to ensure that the state gets its fair share in federal funding.
“Each of us was sent here to solve problems,” She spoke. “That’s what I’ve done for the last 30 years, and that’s what I plan to do for the next two years. My thanks to the people of California for allowing me to serve them.”
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