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Katie Porter launches Senate campaign for Feinstein’s seat

Rep. Katie Porter on Tuesday launched her 2024 campaign for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat — even though the Democratic incumbent hasn’t yet announced her widely expected plans to retire.

“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 (D-Calif.) said in a tweet announcing her candidacy.

POLITICO reported on Friday that the California Democrat was weighing a campaign launch for the seat before Feinstein announces her plans to retire — which is expected in the next couple of months. Porter has now gotten her campaign launch out ahead of other Democrats who are likely to vie for the seat should it open, including California Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Adam Schiff.

Spokespeople for Lee and Schiff told POLITICO on Tuesday that Porter’s announcement does not change their timeline for launching their own campaigns. Schiff has previously said he would consider running if Feinstein does not run for another term.

Porter, a three-term congresswoman, is well-positioned to run a powerful Senate campaign. The progressive Democrat is a prolific fundraiser, with $7.7 million on hand as of the end of 2022 and $25 million raised in the last cycle.

But even with Porter’s impressive fundraising and ability to appeal to swing voters, the race is expected to be highly competitive — especially given California’s primary system that could pit two Democrats against each other in the 2024 general election.

Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.

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