'Highly contentious' primary race expected if Sen. Dianne Feinstein steps down

 December 29, 2022

In an article published on Wednesday, Breitbart predicted a "highly contentious" race will break out among California Democrats should 89-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein call it quits. 

The website pointed to comments made to the Los Angeles Times in November by Democratic strategist Darry Sragow, who described the scenario as being "a real free for all."

"There are a lot of very ambitious players in California who would give anything to have one of those two seats," he explained adding, "So, yeah, there would be a lot of contenders."

Reps. Adam Schiff, Ro Khanna, and Rep. Katie Porter may run

One of those "ambitious players" is Rep. Adam Schiff, who currently serves as outgoing chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Breitbart noted that Schiff opted not to pursue the position of Democratic House leader while he weighs a potential Senate run.

"If Senator Feinstein retires, then I will give it very serious consideration," Schiff said during a radio interview this past weekend with KTTA’s "The Issue Is."

"You know, at this point, I think we’re waiting to see what Senator Feinstein has to say about her plans, but yes, it is something I’m giving serious consideration to," the liberal congressman told host Elex Michaelson.

Meanwhile, Politico reported that Reps. Ro Khanna and Katie Porter are also potential contenders, with both having approached former California Sen. Barbara Boxer for advice.

"They’re starting to call me to get ready for what is a massive campaign – truly, massively expensive and hard-fought," Boxer told the outlet. She suggested that the race will feature "a very crowded field."

Khanna has long voiced criticism of Feinstein, telling Politico in 2017 that the elderly lawmaker should face a primary challenge.

"She hasn’t been a strong advocate on privacy, she hasn’t been strong on civil liberties, she hasn’t been strong in terms of standing up to our foreign policy interventions around the world," he complained.

Feinstein may run again despite reports of mental decline

However, Breitbart reported earlier this month that for her part, Feinstein has explicitly ruled out any talk of retirement and says she may even run for another term in 2024.

This is despite the fact that some of Feinstein's own Democratic colleagues told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year that she is suffering from cognitive decline.

"I have worked with her for a long time and long enough to know what she was like just a few years ago: always in command, always in charge, on top of the details, basically couldn’t resist a conversation where she was driving some bill or some idea," one lawmaker recalled before adding, "All of that is gone."

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