Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced his candidacy for Senate on Thursday, joining Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) in the 2024 primary race to fill a California seat that hasn’t even been vacated yet.
“We’re in the fight of our lives for the future of our country,” Schiff said in a statement. “Our democracy is under assault from MAGA extremists, who care only about gaining power and keeping it. And our economy is simply not working for millions of Americans, who are working harder than ever just to get by.”
“And at this moment, we need a fighter for our democracy and our families, which is why I’m launching my campaign to be the next U.S. Senator for California,” he added.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, is up for reelection, but she hasn’t announced yet whether she plans to seek another term. She is widely expected to retire, however.
Schiff, a former Trump impeachment manager, has been a top GOP target. Earlier this week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced he was kicking Schiff off the House Intelligence Committee in retaliation for Democrats’ decision to boot far-right GOP members off committees in the last Congress.
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that Kevin McCarthy has capitulated to the right wing of his caucus, undermining the integrity of the Congress, and harming our national security in the process,” Schiff said in a joint statement with two other House Democrats whom McCarthy booted off committees.
“He struck a corrupt bargain in his desperate, and nearly failed, attempt to win the Speakership, a bargain that required political vengeance against the three of us.”
Schiff is starting his Senate campaign with a staggering $20.6 million in cash on hand ― a number that is sure to grow in the wake of McCarthy’s announcement, which Schiff has cited in multiple appeals to his donors. That war chest will be a big advantage against his rivals in the notoriously expensive California ad market.
There are several other House Democrats who also may decide to jump into the race for Senate in California in 2024, including Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee. Porter was the first to announce her campaign earlier this month, receiving some flak from Schiff and others for doing so amid historic storms that wrought destruction across California.
In California, the top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
CORRECTION: This article initially stated that Schiff announced his campaign on Tuesday; the announcement was on Thursday.