California is finally getting a wide-open Democratic primary that lives up to its progressive reputation, with at least four liberals gunning for the Senate seat long occupied by Dianne Feinstein — even though Feinstein, 86, hasn’t yet said whether she plans to retire.
A Senate race pitting the man who spearheaded former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, Adam Schiff, against fundraising powerhouse and wonk superstar Katie Porter would guarantee fireworks and a price tag in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But add a candidate representing the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, Ro Khanna, and a living legend who got her start with the Black Panthers and would become the only Black woman in the Senate, Barbara Lee — now you’re talking about a California Senate race for the ages.
Missing from the field with its abundance of Democrats, at least so far, are any Republicans or even independents like Rick Caruso, the billionaire who spent $104 million unsuccessfully running for mayor of Los Angeles.
“I’ve been polling in California for over 40 years. What’s really unique is we have this wide-open race, where anyone can throw their name in and no Republicans jumping in. None whatsoever, yet,” he said. “That’s the dynamic of California right now. It’s a Democratic state, and most Republicans who run at the top of the ticket are just, I don’t know, sacrificial lambs.”