Pelosi Says She Will Get Behind Schiff If Feinstein Retires

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 15: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives for her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, December 15, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Thursday she will support Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in his California Senate bid if Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) decides to retire next year.

“If Senator Feinstein decides to seek re-election, she has my whole-hearted support. 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 said in a statement released by Schiff’s Senate campaign.

This comes a week after Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced he will be running for Senate in 2024, joining an already crowded race for Feinstein’s seat.

Early last month, before any official announcement from the longtime senator, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) launched a Senate campaign. And just a day later, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) told lawmakers she is running for Senate in a closed-door Congressional Black Caucus meeting.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) has also said he will consider a bid “over the next few months.”

The senate bids are pouring in as the 89-year-old trailblazing senator has faced some questions around her cognitive health recently, raising speculations about a possible upcoming retirement. 

Pelosi’s endorsement will go a long way for Schiff if Feinstein decides to retire. It’s already influencing others to throw their weight behind Schiff — who has recently been targeted by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and stripped of his position on the House Intelligence Committee.

“I’m deeply honored and proud to have the support of @SpeakerPelosi, who has been a friend and mentor throughout my time in Congress,” Schiff tweeted Thursday morning.

Following Pelosi’s statement, 20 other current and former members of California’s congressional delegation jumped on board to endorse Schiff, including Reps. Julia Brownley, Jim Costa, Anna Eshoo, Jimmy Gomez, Jared Huffman, Mike Levin, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Jimmy Panetta, Scott Peters, Brad Sherman, Eric Swalwell, Mike Thompson and Juan Vargas, according to the Hill.

Pelosi emphasized Schiff would prioritize “people over politics” and help to make the economy work for everyone in the Senate. 

“Ever since I supported Adam in his race for Congress in 2000, I have known his commitment to putting the American Dream in place for everyone,” Pelosi said. “Adam has dedicated his life to public service. Every time I have asked Adam to take on the tough fight against extremist forces, he has responded with integrity, strength and success.” 

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