Ro Khanna Declines California Senate Run, Endorses Barbara Lee
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) joins student debtors to once again call on President Biden to cancel student debt at an early morning action outside the White House on April 27, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million)

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) announced on Sunday that he will not run for the seat held by retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in 2024.

After months of consideration, Khanna told CNN he would eschew the encouragement of leftist supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and endorse Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) in 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,” Khanna said to “State of the Union” anchor Jake Tapper.

“I’m honored to be co-chairing Barbara Lee’s campaign for the Senate and endorsing her today,” he added. “We need a strong anti-war senator, and she will play that role.”

California boasts a primary system that will feature one ballot for the U.S. Senate race. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will move on to the general election.

Khanna, whose district lies in Silicon Valley, gives Lee a key ally in the contest that features two other high-profile Democratic members of the House as competitors: Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter.

Schiff already scored a significant House endorsement from former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), even before Feinstein announced last month she would not seek re-election.

Khanna said he has “respect” for Schiff and Porter, who are both top fundraisers among Democrats, but he praised Lee for offering a “unique voice” to the Senate.

“She was the lone vote against the endless war in Afghanistan,” Khanna said. “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 noted that “representation” is a key factor in his decision.

“We don’t have a single African-American woman in the United States Senate. She would fill that role,” Khanna said of 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 expressed her gratitude to Khanna in a tweet on Sunday. She also flashed some of her leftist bonafides, sharing her support for a “Medicare for All” healthcare system, among other priorities.

“I will fight every day to push our shared progressive agenda of Medicare4All, ending student debt, and abolishing the filibuster,” Lee said.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ro Khanna Declines California Senate Run, Endorses Barbara Lee