(WASHINGTON) — Democratic Rep. Katie Porter announced on Tuesday morning her candidacy for California’s Senate seat — currently held by fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the longest-serving female senator in history.
In her announcement video posted to Twitter, Porter said it’s time for new leadership in the U.S. Senate.
“I don’t do Congress the way others often do. I use whatever power I have, speak hard truths to the powers that be,” Porter said. “To not just challenge the status quo, but call it out.”
Porter’s video shows images of the Capitol attack, noting the threat of a “constant assault on our democracy,” before she calls out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name and “so-called leaders” for, she says, having made the Senate a place where “rights get revoked, special interests get rewarded, and our democracy gets rigged.”
“Especially in times like these, California needs a warrior in Washington, and that’s exactly why I’m announcing my candidacy for the United States Senate in 2024,” Porter said.
Although Feinstein, who’s 89, has not announced whether she’ll seek reelection, other California Democrats may be eyeing the seat, including Reps. Barbara Lee and Adam Schiff.
California has a jungle primary, which means two Democrats could be pitted against each other during the general election.
Porter, 49, a progressive star in the Democratic party, won reelection this past November in a tight race for California’s 47th Congressional District.
The former middle school math teacher and law professor has served in the House of Representatives since 2019. She holds a closely divided district and has lagged behind California Democrats cycle after cycle.
A mother of three, Porter has gained social media notoriety for her interrogations using whiteboards on the Oversight and Natural Resources Committees, even bringing the props to late-night television appearances. Just last week, she appeared to subtly troll Republicans during marathon speakership votes as she read a carefully-titled book on House the floor.
While it’s speculated that Feinstein will not run again in 2024, the senator has not commented on her political future despite questions regarding her health and age.
Feinstein has been a crusader for female representation in Congress. This past November, she became the longest-serving woman senator, surpassing Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
“It has been a great pleasure to watch more and more women walk the halls of the Senate. We went from two women senators when I ran for office in 1992 to 24 today — and I know that number will keep climbing,” Feinstein said.
The term for California’s other senator, Alex Padilla, expires in 2029.
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