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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Nancy Pelosi backs Adam Schiff’s bid for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, listens to former U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in Washington, D.C., on May 10. Pelosi endorsed Schiff’s bid for the U.S. Senate on Thursday.  (Nicholas Kamm/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS)
By Seema Mehta Los Angeles Times

Democratic stalwart and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Rep. Adam B. Schiff’s bid for the U.S. Senate on Thursday, as long as incumbent Dianne Feinstein doesn’t seek re-election.

“If she decides not to run, I will be supporting House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, who knows well the nexus between a strong Democracy and a strong economy,” Pelosi, of San Francisco, said in a statement. “In his service in the House, he has focused on strengthening our Democracy with justice and on building an economy that works for all.”

Schiff chaired the Intelligence Committee until Republicans took control of the House in 2022.

Pelosi’s support comes as California Democrats are increasingly eyeing the Senate seat Feinstein was elected to in 1992. While the incumbent has said she will announce her plans later this year, the 89-year-old is not expected to seek another term. The former San Francisco mayor has faced mounting questions about her mental acuity and frailty in recent years.

The prospect of a rare open Senate seat in California sets the stage for an expensive and highly competitive battle.

Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine was the first prominent Democrat to announce a bid for Feinstein’s seat last month, followed by Schiff, of Burbank. Veteran Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee has told House colleagues she plans to run and has started assembling a campaign team. Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna has said he is considering a run. No prominent Republican has announced plans to run for the office.

Along with Pelosi, Schiff on Thursday also announced the support of 20 additional current and former California members of Congress, including Ted Lieu of Torrance, Brad Sherman of Northridge, Eric Swalwell of Dublin and Henry Waxman of Los Angeles.

“I am honored to have earned the support of Speaker Pelosi and so many of my colleagues from the California delegation,” Schiff said. “Together, we’ve played an outsized role within the U.S. Congress in protecting our democracy and supporting working families, and I’m excited to continue that work as their partner in expanding health care, combatting the climate crisis, and addressing homelessness.”