WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Katie Porter on Tuesday launched a campaign for U.S. Senate in California, taking aim at a seat currently held by fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who has not said if she plans seek re-election in 2024.
Feinstein, who has held the seat since 1992, has faced pressure to resign given that she is the oldest member of Congress at 89 years old. If she were re-elected, she would be 97 at the end of her six-year term.
Porter, 49, is a rising progressive star in the Democratic Party.
The former law professor has become a social media sensation for her whiteboards and rapid-fire grilling of powerful bank and drug company executives over issues like compensation.
She has championed inflation-based caps for drug prices and making it unlawful to excessively hike gasoline prices.
She was a top fundraiser in the House in November’s midterm elections, raising over $25 million to win her competitive district for the third time.
“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 (top Senate Republican) Mitch McConnell accountable for rigging our democracy,” she said in a video posted to Twitter. She made no reference to Feinstein.
Feinstein is a trailblazer in U.S. politics: the first woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco, first woman to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee and now the longest-serving female senator.
“Everyone is of course welcome to throw their hat in the ring, and I will make an announcement concerning my plans for 2024 at the appropriate time,” Feinstein said in response to Porter’s announcement.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker)
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