The race to succeed California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is shaping up to be a contentious one, with some of the most powerful figures in the Democratic Party lining up on opposite sides.
Feinstein, 88, is the oldest sitting senator in American history and has served in the Senate since 1992. She has not yet announced whether she will seek re-election in 2024, but she has said that she is “open to it.”
If Feinstein does not run, the race to succeed her will be wide open. A number of Democrats have already expressed interest in running, including state Treasurer Fiona Ma, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
The race is also likely to attract a number of well-funded outside groups, as both parties see California as a key battleground in the 2024 election.
The Democratic establishment is divided over who should succeed Feinstein. Some establishment Democrats, such as Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), are backing Ma, who they see as a safe and experienced choice. Other establishment Democrats, such as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), are backing Khanna, who they see as a more progressive and exciting candidate.
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party is also divided over who to support. Some progressives, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), are backing Lieu, who they see as a more progressive alternative to Ma. Other progressives, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), are backing a long-shot candidate, David Chiu, who is the city attorney of San Francisco.
The battle for Feinstein’s seat is likely to be one of the most closely watched races in the 2024 election. The outcome of the race will have implications for the future of the Democratic Party and the balance of power in the Senate.