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Politics & Policy

Senate race kicks into gear as Schiff touts Pelosi endorsement

Man in tie speaks in front of US House of Representatives flags
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff speaks at a press conference on committee assignments for the 118th U.S. Congress at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 25, 2023. | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images | Source: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

U.S. Senate hopeful Adam Schiff is racking up endorsements in what will likely be a fiercely contested race to replace Dianne Feinstein. 

In an early flex, Schiff announced on Thursday the support of more than 20 current and former California Congressional Democrats, including Reps. Eric Swalwell, Julia Brownley, Jim Costa, Ted Lieu, Brad Sherman and others. 

Schiff, a Los Angeles congressman also noted for his work on the impeachments of former President Donald Trump, also won the endorsement—albeit conditional—of one particular heavyweight: former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rides a float in the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration on June 26, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

“If Senator Feinstein decides to seek re-election, she has my whole-hearted support. If she decides not to run, I will be supporting House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff,” reads a statement from Pelosi sent out by Schiff’s campaign.

Pelosi’s statement was mostly focused on lauding Feinstein’s 30-year Senate career, but Schiff quickly leveraged the endorsement in an email to supporters this morning.  

The early endorsements give Schiff an appearance of strength over the only other declared candidate in the race so far: Rep. Katie Porter of Orange County

Porter raised over $1.3 million immediately after announcing her candidacy, and released a poll by David Binder Research giving her an 11% lead over Schiff among likely voters. Schiff has over $25 million in his congressional campaign account.

Porter has positioned herself as the progressive in the race, having received the endorsement of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Jan. 12. 

Earlier today Schiff’s campaign announced Pelosi’s endorsement, which is conditional on the retirement of Feinstein—who has yet to announce her plans for 2024. 

Feinstein has not yet made public whether she will seek reelection in 2024. 

But the veteran lawmaker’s age and rumored cognitive decline have led a number of California lawmakers to consider a bid for the rarely available seat: Others mulling entering the race include Bay Area Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna.