This past Sunday, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) announced that he will not be campaigning for the opening seat which is currently held by retiring Sen. Dianna Feinstein (D-CA) in the 2024 State Senate race.
In the wake of what was said to be many months of consideration, Khanna explained that he would be going against the recent encouragement given by the Left-wing supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and stand behind Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) as the correct person for the race.
"I have concluded that, despite a lot of enthusiasm from Bernie folks, the best place, the most exciting place, action place for me to serve as a progressive is in the House of Representatives," stated Khanna to Jake Tapper, the anchor of "State of the Union."
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 26, 2023
"I’m honored to be co-chairing Barbara Lee’s campaign for the Senate and endorsing her today," he stated. "We need a strong anti-war senator, and she will play that role."
California has bragged about its primary system which is expected to feature a single ballot for the U.S. Senate race. The lead two vote-getters, regardless of their political affiliations, will be the ones to move on to the general elections.
Khanna, who represents a district within Silicon Valley, has essentially cemented himself as a key ally in the contest which features two other very high-profile Democratic members from the House as the competition: Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff.
Schiff already managed to secure another high-profile endorsement from the House coming from none other than former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), even before Feinstein stated this past month that she would not be attempting to seek re-election.
Khanna explained that he has "respect" for both Porter and Schiff, who are known to be lead fundraising among Democrats, but he praised Lee for giving a "unique voice" within the Senate.
"She was the lone vote against the endless war in Afghanistan," stated Khanna. "She stood up so strongly against the war in Iraq. She worked with me in stopping — trying to stop the war in Yemen and the war powers resolution."
He expressed that "representation" is a main factor for his choice.
"We don’t have a single African-American woman in the United States Senate. She would fill that role," stated Khanna about Lee. "She will be the only candidate from Northern California, and she’s going to, I think, consolidate a lot of progressives. The other two are formidable candidates, but I think Barbara Lee is going to be very, very strong."
Lee spoke out regarding her gratitude to Khanna as part of a tweet on Sunday. She also flashed a few of her leftist bonafides, offering up her support for the "Medicare for All" style healthcare system.
"I will fight every day to push our shared progressive agenda of Medicare4All, ending student debt, and abolishing the filibuster," concluded Lee.