Senate announcement on Katie Porter ends shadow campaign

By launching her bid for the U.S. Senate — open, up front, for the whole world to see clearly — Rep. Katie Porter has put the contest where it belongs: right in front of California voters.

Like circling vultures, successors to Sen. Dianne Feinstein have spent years eyeing her seat, convinced she will bend to time and common sense and choose not to seek a full sixth term in November 2024. The announcement of a future 89-year-old Democrat is expected by spring.

A few leads, meanwhile, were busy lining up staff, working on phones, petting donors, collecting IOUs, trading political gossip, and generally doing everything less than pushing an elbow into the ribs of an aging incumbent to hasten to make a public statement about it. . Intentions.

Why the weird Victorian notion that these senatorial hopefuls should not be seen or heard Out of respect for Feinstein and her plans? The campaign to replace them is in full swing, and has been for a long time. Why not let the voters in action?

Whatever you think of Porter’s candidacy or his credentials—and there will be plenty of time to examine both—the Orange County congressman ended the charade.

“I have great respect for Senator Feinstein and her desire to take her own time” to decide on the future, Porter said in a phone interview after formally announcing her Senate candidacy on Tuesday.

The Democrat expressed his praise for the path the former San Francisco mayor took for women in politics. But regardless, Porter said, “If the senator decides to run for another term… I will still be in this race.”

Porter had good reason for her first ad out of the gate.

She survived a brutal campaign to win re-election in November, spending most of the $25 million she amassed she would undoubtedly have preferred to dedicate to running for Senate. One of Porter’s supposed rivals, Democratic Representative Adam B. Chef from Burbank, sitting on a $20 million cash pile, motivated her to enter the competition sooner rather than later.

There is also a tactical advantage to an early start, Democratic strategist Rose Kabulczynski told the Los Angeles Times Seema Mehta and Nolan D. Kapolczynski managed Barbara Boxer’s successful Senate campaign in 1992, which Boxer began as a long haul before fellow Democrat Alan Cranston officially announced he was stepping down.

“It gave her a head start on organizing and talking to people and being a part of every story about who might run for Senate,” said Kapolczynski.

Porter’s announcement amid the storms battering California wasn’t the wisest political move.

Feinstein responded with a statement reiterating her intention to reveal her plans in due course and saying—one can almost see the arched eyebrow—that she focused instead on the merciless downpours and floods.

Schiff posted a photo of himself, the Capitol Dome providing a perfectly framed backdrop, noting that he has “been calling local, state and federal emergency management officials” about responding to the devastating storms affecting our state and how Congress can help. “

Another representative, Ro Khanna (D-Fremont), a potential opponent of Porter, said he, too, has been busy responding to “historic weather conditions” rather than focusing on the Senate contest. “In the next few months, I will make a decision,” Khanna said on Twitter.

It’s all well and good.

If voters don’t care about the timing of Porter’s announcement, perhaps because they view it as disrespectful to Feinstein, or insensitive to those facing the wrath of nature, they can vote for someone else when the primaries begin in March 2024.

Most likely there will be no shortage of candidates to choose from.

Now that Porter has ended his shadow campaign, there is no more reason for California’s parade of prospective Senators to continue playing coy.

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