Longtime incumbent California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) announced on Tuesday she would not run for reelection and would serve the rest of her term, becoming the second senator to make the same announcement.
“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. Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives,” Feinstein said on social media.
She added, “Each of us was sent here to solve problems. That’s what I’ve done for the last 30 years, and that’s what I plan to do for the next two years. My thanks to the people of California for allowing me to serve them.”
Feinstein’s announcement puts an end to months of speculation that she would retire.
Speculation only increased in the recent months that she would retire after her fourth quarter filing from last year showed that she only raised $558.91 from October to December 2022. The same filing also revealed that she had less than $10,000 in cash.
This also comes after the New York Times last May reported that Democrats in Washington, DC, are struggling to keep Feinstein’s declining mental health a secret but that it has become more noticeable. The Times noted that among Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, it has been “widely” but also “always privately” accepted that Feinstein is suffering from “acute short-term memory issues.”
However, the 89-year-old’s announcement also makes way for a crowded primary as some Democrats — Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) — have already jumped into the race for California’s deep blue Senate seat in 2024, and with many more expected.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the former speaker of the House, has also said she would endorse Schiff in the primary race if Feinstein chooses to retire.
The former speaker noted that Feinstein has had a “remarkable legislative record” in her time in Congress and that Pelosi would give the 89-year-old her “whole-hearted support” if she runs again, but “If she decides not to run, I will be supporting House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff…”