Feinstein Announces Retirement

February 14, 2023

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced Tuesday she will not seek reelection in 2024, clearing the path for what’s likely to be a highly contested Senate seat. 

Feinstein was first elected in 1992, dubbed the “year of the woman” when, in response to the treatment of attorney Anita Hill during the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, many women took it as a sign that they did not have adequate representation in Congress—including just two in the Senate at the time. At age 89, Feinstein is the oldest U.S. Senator, beating out Chuck Grassley (R-IA) by just about three months. 

“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” she said in a statement.

Feinstein’s announcement comes after a handful of California Democrats have already either officially announced they intend to run for her seat, or have hinted that they’ll do so. 

Rep. Adam Schiff announced his run for the Senate on January 26. He entered a race already occupied by Rep. Katie Porter, who announced on January 10 that she’s running for Senate in 2024. Rep. Barbara Lee has also reportedly told members of the Congressional Black Caucus that she plans to run for Senate, but has not yet made a formal announcement.

The trio are expected to be on a list of Democratic contenders for Feinstein’s seat that could also include Reps. Eric Swalwell and Ro Khanna.

Feinstein declined to endorse a successor on Tuesday. 

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