Progressive Candidates Face Off for Key Senate Seat

Progressive Candidates Face Off for Key Senate Seat

( – The Democratic Party is getting ready for a new battle, as two left-wing candidates set their sights on a Senate seat. Liberal Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is the oldest member of the upper chamber and is under growing pressure to step aside in 2024. So far, she’s resisting — but it looks like “progressives” are trying to nudge her toward the exit.

Feinstein first won an elected position as a politician when she took a seat on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in 1969. In 1992, constituents elected her to the US Senate, and she’s maintained her position in the Senate since that time. Two years ago, she filed the paperwork for a re-election campaign in 2024 — facing a campaign at the age of 91 years old.

Many of the senator’s fellow Democrats have indicated they would prefer that Feinstein, who’s been facing questions about her mental competence for years, took the chance to retire gracefully and let a younger candidate run in her place. Now, two hopefuls are taking the first steps towards fighting for her seat next year.

Two congresswomen — Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) — are hoping to garner the “progressive” vote in next year’s primary. Porter, 49, has already entered the race and started fundraising; the 76-year-old Lee hasn’t formally declared, but on January 11, she told the Congressional Black Caucus she plans to run.

The prospect of a race between the two is making some other leftists nervous. Campaign strategist Max Berger would prefer only one run in the primary and said, “I don’t think progressives can win if both stay in.” The question is, which one should stay? Lee is likely to win support from black leaders and activists and allies of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Yet, Porter has allied herself with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and many Democrats see her as more electable.

Of course, an even better question is whether there will be a vacancy at all because Feinstein hasn’t given any indication she’s willing to step aside.

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