Adam Schiff Announces Senate Bid as California Race Heats Up

California is about to get its first truly competitive Senate race in a generation, as Rep. Adam Schiff announced his candidacy on Thursday morning.

Schiff’s announcement comes two weeks after Katie Porter, the Orange County congresswoman, launched her campaign for the seat now held by Dianne Feinstein.

Schiff, who is from Burbank, is best known for leading the first impeachment trial against former President Trump, over Trump’s efforts to pressure the president of Ukraine to go after Joe Biden.

Schiff once flirted with becoming a screenwriter and has long had close ties to Hollywood.

Fundraising — both from traditional sources and from small-dollar donors — figures to be critical, given the high cost of TV ads in California.

Feinstein, 89, is the oldest serving Senator. She has held her seat for 30 years and is widely expected not to seek reelection in 2024, though she has not announced her retirement.

Other candidates are expected to join the race, including Rep. Barbara Lee of San Francisco. Under California’s “top two” primary system, two Democrats could end up facing each other in the November general election.

In his announcement video, Schiff emphasized his work on the impeachment trial, which he called “the biggest job of my life,” and which made him a target for right-wing media.

“After all that, I wish I could say the threat of MAGA extremists is over,” Schiff said in the video. “It is not. Today’s Republican Party is gutting the middle class, threatening our democracy. They aren’t going to stop. We have to stop them.”

This week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy made good on a promise to remove Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee. Republicans have blasted Schiff for his work on the panel during the Trump administration, in particular when Schiff alleged there was “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion between Trump and Russia.

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