2023 is only a few weeks old, but several local candidates are out of the gate and campaigning for election in 2024. One of the most watched races locally, statewide, and nationally is the replacement for retiring California Senator, Dianne Feinstein. The 89-year old political pioneer made the long-anticipated announcement that she would not run for re-election earlier this month.
Feinstein, first elected in 1992, is the longest serving female U.S. senator in history. She is now the oldest sitting U.S. senator and for years pushed back on pressure to resign. Feinstein insists she will work hard for California until the end of next year when her term wraps up.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) put out a statement praising Feinstein as “one of the finest legislators our state and country have ever known.” Rep. Schiff claims Feinstein as a mentor and hopes to fill her senate seat.
Schiff is one of two major contenders who did not wait for Feinstein’s official declaration. He announced his candidacy for Feinstein’s seat in late January. First to toss her hat into the ring on January 10, Schiff’s fellow House member and Orange County resident, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine). Both Schiff and Porter announced their campaigns in videos on social media.
New Poll on the California Senate Race
A new poll surveying voters about the California senate race came out last Thursday, February 23. It shows Schiff and Porter are in the lead and almost neck-and-neck. Schiff received the support of 22 percent of the voters to Porter’s 20 percent. Also, recently announced senate candidate and House member Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) is far behind with 6 percent. Still, it’s early in the campaign and a lot can happen. At this point, four out of ten voters are undecided. Also, other candidates could jump into the race as well. The UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies poll was co-sponsored by the LA Times.
Schiff’s House Seat
And the race is on for Schiff’s 30th District U.S. House of Representatives seat. State Assemblymember Laura Friedman launched her campaign for the office in late January. She represents District 44, which includes Burbank, Glendale, and some other surrounding communities. Also jumping into the contest, State Senator, Anthony Portantino whose 25th District includes Burbank.
Friedman and Portantino will face a number of challengers, among them former Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. Last year, Feuer dropped out of the race for Los Angeles Mayor and threw his support behind Karen Bass. Along with serving as L.A. City Attorney from 2013-2022, he was in the State Assembly from 2006-2001 and the Los Angeles City Council from 1995 to 2001.
Another candidate is actor Ben Savage. In 2022, Savage ran unsuccessfully for the West Hollywood City Council. Savage is best known for appearing in the sitcom Boy Meets World from 1993-2000 and the spinoff Girl Meets World from 2013-2017. He is the brother of Wonder Years actor/director, Fred Savage.
Then, there’s Los Angeles City Council President, Paul Krekorian who took himself out of contention. Krekorian disclosed his decision not to run in a statement on Feb. 18. Krekorian cited his present position as the reason for not entering the race, “circumstances have presented me with the responsibility of a lifetime in serving as President of the Los Angeles City Council during a time of extraordinary challenges.”