Ro Khanna ends speculation about political future in California

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California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna announced Sunday he will not be running for the Senate in 2024, while also endorsing Rep. Barbara Lee for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat.

‘Over the past few months, it has been an honor to hear from progressives and Bernie Sanders supporters who have reached out and encouraged me to enter the race,’ Khanna said in a press release. ‘While I am honored, I believe the most exciting place to advance bold and progressive policy right now is in the House.’

‘Today, I am proud to endorse Barbara Lee and serve as a co-chair of her campaign. From the beginning, I have said that I would look closely at what Barbara Lee does and that her decision would weigh heavily on mine,’ Khanna continued. ‘She is a personal hero and one of the reasons why I first ran for Congress at age 27 on an anti-war platform. Her lone vote against the war in Afghanistan is one of the most courageous acts of modern time.’

Khanna also made the announcements on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’

Feinstein, who is currently the longest-serving female senator ever and also the oldest sitting senator at age 89, announced she would not be seeking re-election in early February.

‘I am announcing today I will not run for re-election in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,’ the senator said in a statement last month. 

Lee filed to enter the race just a few days after Feinstein announced her retirement. She is set to face off against fellow Democrat Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, who have also announced their intention to fill the senator’s seat. 

When asked why he would not back Porter or Schiff, Khanna responded that he had much ‘respect for them, but Barbara Lee is a unique voice.’

‘The other two are formidable candidates, but I think Barbara Lee is going to be very, very strong,’ Khanna added. 

Lee is the highest-ranking Black woman appointed to the House Democratic leadership, also serving as co-chair of the Policy and Steering Committee. The representative’s track record includes being the only member of Congress to vote against the authorization for the use of military force after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

Fox News’ Julia Musto and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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