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Pelosi to endorse Schiff for U.S. Senate, but only if Feinstein retires

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she would endorse Rep. Adam Schiff in the 2024 California Senate race if incumbent Sen. Diane Feinstein does not seek re-election. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
1 of 3 | Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she would endorse Rep. Adam Schiff in the 2024 California Senate race if incumbent Sen. Diane Feinstein does not seek re-election. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for Democratic colleague Adam Schiff in the 2024 California Senate race but made clear she would switch her endorsement to Dianne Feinstein if the aging senator chooses to run for a seventh term.

Pelosi, who served twice as House speaker before stepping aside earlier this year amid a Republican takeover, touted Schiff's legal integrity as well as his fiscal acumen, while also citing "his service in the House, [where] he has focused on strengthening our Democracy with justice and on building an economy that works for all."

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"Ever since I supported Adam in his race for Congress in 2000, I have known his commitment to putting the American Dream in place for everyone," Pelosi said in a statement shared by Schiff's campaign. "Adam has dedicated his life to public service. Every time I have asked Adam to take on the tough fight against extremist forces, he has responded with integrity, strength and success."

Schiff wrote on Twitter that he was "honored and proud" to have the support of Pelosi, who he called "a friend and mentor."

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"She's accomplished so much for children and for working families, and deeply understands the challenges to our democracy that lie ahead," he wrote.

Pelosi, however, said her "whole-hearted" support would remain with Feinstein, if she chooses to remain in office.

Pelosi praised Feinstein's 31 years of public service in the Senate, which began in 1992 after she won a special election to fill the seat of Sen. Gray Davis when he became governor of California.

At 89, Feinstein is now the oldest sitting senator and in 2022 she became the longest-serving female senator in the nation's history.

Her legislative record features numerous historic triumphs, including the passage of the Violence Against Women Act and the Respect for Marriage Act. She is also hailed for her position as the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein, who was last elected in 2018 and is due to turn 90 in June, has not yet announced whether she will retire or run for another six-year term. She previously indicated that she was likely to firm up a final decision on her future by this spring.

Several California House Democrats are already lining up to compete in the upcoming primary race to replace her. The most notable is Schiff, who launched his campaign last Thursday, while Rep. Katie Porter threw in her hat more than three weeks ago.

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Rep. Barbara Lee has also reportedly expressed interest in a bid for the seat, and some believe Rep. Ro Khanna could also make an announcement in the coming weeks.

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