Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) has announced her 2024 campaign for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Dianne Feinstein.
“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,” Porter tweeted on Tuesday. “Today, I’m proud to announce my candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2024.”
However, her campaign could be hindered by accusations of racism and her alleged role in shaping a toxic workplace culture.
Fox News reported that an ex-staffer claimed Porter made racist comments to staff and “ridiculed people for reported sexual harassment.”
Last month, a Navy veteran and supporter of Porter’s, Sasha Georgiades, claimed she heard Porter use racial slurs when talking to staff and mock people for reporting sexual harassment in her office, adding that Porter also “made fun of individuals whose parents passed away from COVID.”
Porter has not yet responded to these allegations, but her campaign website asserts that she condemns racism.
For her part, Feinstein has also not responded to requests for comment, albeit on Porter’s announcement.
Feinstein is 89 years old and has served in the Senate since 1992. While there had been Democrat speculation that she will likely retire at the end of her current term, Feinstein has already filed 2024 re-election paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Early last year, several Democrat lawmakers and staffers anonymously reported that she was mentally unfit for the job. Feinstein responded by saying that she is mentally well and is “still an effective representative” for the people of California.
If she does retire, many other California Democrats would likely make a bid for her Senate seat. In addition to Porter, potential candidates could include Rep. Adam Schiff, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.
Schiff reportedly visited Feinstein in December to tell her that he was considering running.
Whoever ultimately jumps into the Senate race will likely face fierce competition over the high-profile seat in the nation’s most populous state.