U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat representing Pasadena, Hollywood and other Los Angeles-area neighborhoods, is officially running to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Schiff, 62, gained prominence during the Trump administration as a staunch opponent of the former president. The congressman served as a manager for one of Trump’s impeachment trials.
“The Senate is where many of these fights over the future of our democracy take place,” Schiff told the Times. “Some of Donald Trump’s biggest enablers are in the Senate. And I think that is where I can most effectively champion our democratic institutions.”
Schiff’s fellow Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of Orange County is also in the race to replace Feinstein, 89, whom some have alleged is mentally unfit to serve. Rep. Barbara Lee of the Bay Area has also signaled she will run.
The long-serving Feinstein, the oldest member of Congress, has yet to say whether she will seek another term in 2024.
Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor who joined the Senate in 1992, told reporters this week that she will make a decision about 2024 in the “next couple of months.”
The emerging contest has created a politically awkward dynamic for Feinstein, who has broken gender barriers throughout her career in local and national politics. In recent years, questions have arisen about her cognitive health and memory, though she has defended her effectiveness in representing a state that is home to nearly 40 million people.
Schiff said in an interview Thursday that he had spoken to Feinstein a day earlier to inform her about his plans.
“I want to make sure that everything I did was respectful of her and that I did so with her knowledge and her blessing,” Schiff told The Associated Press.
Asked if he was aware of the senator’s plans, Schiff said, “I don’t want to presume to speak for Sen. Feinstein and I think she’s earned the right to announce her decision when she’s ready to make that announcement.”