Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) announced Sunday that he will be leading Rep. Barbara Lee’s campaign for the US Senate.
Khanna, who was urged by allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to consider running for the presidency, had spent months pondering a possible bid to retire California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and shortly after signaling Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) launched her campaign in January that he would make a decision in the next few months.
Khanna called it “an honor” to hear from Sanders supporters and other progressives who wanted him in the race against Lee (D-Oakland), Porter and Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), but said : “I think the most exciting place to push bold and progressive politics right now is in the House of Representatives.”
So he gave up running for the Senate and backed Lee, his progressive congressional colleague.
“I have said from the beginning that I will look closely at what Barbara Lee is doing and that her decision would weigh heavily on mine,” Khanna said in a statement. “She is a personal hero and one of the reasons I first ran for Congress at 27 on an anti-war platform. Your single voice against the war in Afghanistan is one of the bravest acts of modern times.”
Last month, a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times found that just 4% of registered Democrats and nonpartisan voters in the poll supported Khanna for the US Senate. Even if Khanna’s supporters support Lee, their combined support would rise to just 10% in this poll.
Khanna’s support and role in Lee’s campaign could help her raise more money, though neither of them are the fundraising juggernauts that Schiff and Porter are.
Praising Lee, Khanna also said, “representation matters,” noting that while black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, there is not a single black woman in the Senate.
“For far too long, our country’s institutions have failed to reflect the people,” he said. “Building a multi-ethnic, multicultural democracy is difficult and we must be willing to fight for it. I look forward to fighting alongside Barbara Lee.”
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-03-26/khanna-endorses-barbara-lee-for-u-s-senate Khanna endorses Barbara Lee for U.S. Senate