Rep. Katie Porter, a three-term congresswoman from Orange County, announced Tuesday she is running for the seat currently held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Although Porter, 48, is the first to enter the race for Feinstein’s seat, she will face a crowded field of heavily funded candidates if Feinstein, 89, decides not to run.
“Most of us believe Feinstein will not be a candidate,” said veteran Democratic political consultant Rick Taylor. “Katie’s real competitor already has $30 million in the bank. I’m talking about Rep. Adam Schiff.”
At the moment, Porter is best known to the general public for being the House member seen on camera reading the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” during the 15 rounds of votes to decide Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid.
Harvard-educated Porter, serving Orange County’s 45th district, which includes Irvine, Tustin and Lake Fores, likely will face a number of other women candidates, Taylor said.
Another competitor includes Rep. Barbara Lee, an ally of L.A. Mayor Karen Bass. Lee represents California’s 12th congressional district, which includes parts of San Francisco.
“One thing is certain,” Taylor said. “All the candidates will be progressive.”
Although Feinstein has not said if she will seek a sixth term, political insiders widely believe that she will retire from the Senate, where she has served since 1992. In recent years, Washington observers have expressed concern that Feinstein was struggling at times with cognitive issues.
Porter announced her campaign Tuesday on Twitter.
“California needs a warrior in the Senate – to stand up to special interests, fight the dangerous imbalance in our economy, and hold so-called leaders like Mitch McConnell accountable for rigging our democracy.”
In her campaign video, Porter promises to get tough on congressional corruption.
“We are living in a time of extraordinary change,” she said. “Change can be electrifying and exhilarating. But change can also be disruptive and disorienting, like the constant assault on our democracy… They used to call the US Senate the world’s greatest deliberative body. Well, if that were ever true to begin with, that has changed too.”
She said the “threat from so-called leaders like Mitch McConnell has too often made the U.S. Senate the place were rights get revoked, special interest get rewarded and our democracy gets rigged.”
“As Californians we’ve proven we won’t just sit by and let these things happen. You always do your part and I will continue to do mine.”
“That goes for taking on Wall Street and the big banks, big oil and big pharma,” she said. “It’s why I refuse to accept corporate PAC and lobbyist campaign money – I don’t want it.”