Elizabeth Warren Endorses Katie Porter to Replace Dianne Feinstein – Rolling Stone
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s colleagues aren’t waiting for her to formally announce her retirement from the U.S. Senate before backing would-be successors: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has put her “full support” behind Rep. Katie Porter, the Orange Country-area lawmaker and Warren protégé running to replace the 89-year-old California senator.
“Katie delivers because she’s smart and she has a backbone made out of steel,” Warren said in her endorsement. “She is exactly who Californians need as their next Senator.”
Warren’s early embrace of Porter’s candidacy is a de facto snub of Feinstein, but also a reflection of Warren and Porter’s decades-long personal and professional relationship. The liberal Massachusetts firebrand has long been close to Porter, who first met the former Harvard Law professor as a student in Warren’s bankruptcy law class. Warren took Porter, herself an aspiring law professor, under her tutelage and hired her as a researcher for one of Warren’s major bankruptcy projects. The two co-authored a law school textbook published in 2020, a time when both had abandoned their law teaching for careers in Congress.
Warren related some of that history in her announcement of her endorsement. “I met Katie long before either of us imagined we’d be serving as elected officials,” she wrote. “Even as a young student in my consumer law class, she showed a deep-down commitment to making a difference in people’s lives.”
Warren’s son Alex served as treasurer to Porter’s first congressional campaign in 2018. Porter had been an early surrogate for Warren’s 2020 presidential run. Both have sent fundraising emails on one another’s behalf during their concurrent political careers and blurbed each other’s books. Porter had even named her daughter Betsy in honor of her early mentor.
Porter announced her bid for the Senate on Tuesday and raised $1.3 million in the 24 hours that followed. The field of candidates running for Feinstein’s seat, which she’s held since 1992, is expected to be crowded. Rep. Barbara Lee announced on Wednesday that she’s running, too, and Reps. Ro Khanna and Adam Schiff are looking at the race, as well.
Feinstein still hasn’t said whether she’ll seek reelection, though it is widely expected that she’ll step aside. In recent years, Feinstein has reportedly suffered from cognitive decline, raising questions about her continued fitness to serve. She has struggled to recall colleagues’ names and home states, according to reporting from the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as details from meetings and phone conversations, The New York Times learned.
Feinstein has nevertheless committed to finishing out her term in its entirety, which runs through the end of 2024.