Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) has thrown his hat into the race for the Senate seat currently held by Dianne Feinstein (D-San Francisco), pointing to a hard-fought race ahead that could include attacks on Schiff’s record in the House.
Schiff joins an already crowded race that includes Reps. Katie Porter, Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna. Feinstein—despite rumors about her ailing health—has not announced any plans to retire after a 30-year career in the Senate.
Schiff, 62, announced his run on Thursday and immediately released a campaign video over Twitter, highlighting his role as lead manager in the Trump impeachments, his career in Congress and as a federal prosecutor, and featuring attacks on him from Republican leaders.
Our democracy is at great risk. Because GOP leaders care more about power than anything else.— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) January 26, 2023
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
Schiff is the second person to formally declare his candidacy for the Senate seat, after Porter announced her run earlier this month. Porter raised over a million dollars for her run almost immediately after declaring.
Lee, a longtime East Bay representative and progressive leader, has also discussed her intent to run with colleagues, but has yet to launch a formal bid.
South Bay Congressman Ro Khanna has also mulled running for the seat, but has also intimated that he would step aside if Lee declares.
Schiff’s interest in the seat has already prompted attacks from Republican leaders: Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state and CIA director under Donald Trump, accused Schiff of leaking classified information while serving as Intelligence Committee chair in a Fox News interview on Wednesday.
The allegations come after new flare-ups over alleged mishandling of classified information by Trump, as well as by President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence in recent days.
They also reflect Schiff’s high profile as a thorn in the side of Republicans. Schiff has been removed from the House Intelligence Committee, along with Rep. Eric Swallwell (D-Contra Costa County), by the new Republican House speaker, Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield).
If Schiff is elected, California’s Senate delegation will be composed only of members from Southern California, after an extended period where Bay Area figures like Feinstein dominated the delegation.
In an interview with Raw Story published Thursday, Feinstein indicated she will not announce whether she’s seeking reelection until 2024. Meanwhile, Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram tweeted Wednesday that she would decide “in a couple of months.”
Sen. Feinstein, who served as San Francisco Mayor between 1978 and 1988, currently serves with Sen. Alex Padilla, the former California secretary of state and state senator from Los Angeles.
Padilla was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021 to replace Kamala Harris upon her swearing in as Vice President. Harris had been San Francisco district attorney before being elected to the Senate in 2016.
Mike Ege can be reached at [email protected]