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Adam Schiff and GOP Challenger Steve Garvey Emerge as Front-Runners in California Senate Contest

PoliticsAdam Schiff and GOP Challenger Steve Garvey Emerge as Front-Runners in California Senate Contest

SAN FRANCISCO: To determine who will represent California in the U.S. Senate, a general election runoff will pit Republican Steve Garvey, a former Los Angeles Dodgers player, against Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of Los Angeles, who oversaw the initial impeachment investigation of former President Donald Trump, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Democrats Congresswoman Katie Porter of Orange County and Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Oakland were defeated by Schiff and former first baseman Garvey to take the top two positions.

Under California’s top-two primary system, the top two vote-getters advance. All candidates, regardless of party, appear on the same ballot.

U.S. Senate

OPEN PRIMARY

53% of results in

CANDIDATEPERCENTVOTES
Steve Garvey (GOP) 45.4%1,889,481
Adam Schiff (Dem) 28.1%1,169,889
Katie Porter (Dem)11.3%472,199
Barbara Lee (Dem)5.6%232,464
Eric Early (GOP)2.8%116,755
James Bradley (GOP)1.1%47,654
Other candidates5.6%235,076
Source: AP (as of 11:49 a.m. on March 6, 2024)

The contest in a heavily Democratic state, where a Republican hasn’t won a statewide office since 2006, is a major victory for Schiff, who supported Garvey in advertisements in an attempt to keep himself and another Democrat out of a runoff.

As a result of Tuesday’s election, California will not have a female senatorial representative for the state in November, marking the first time this has happened since 1992. From the time of her initial election in 1992 until her passing last autumn, the late Dianne Feinstein held the position. Governor Gavin Newsom nominated Laphonza Butler to succeed her, but Butler declined to run.

Voters really weighed in on two issues on Tuesday due to an oddity in the election schedule: who should run for the entire six-year term starting in January of next year, and who should serve out Feinstein’s remaining months following the election in November.

Voters selected Schiff and Steve Garvey in both instances.

Longtime congressman and former federal prosecutor Schiff ran as an establishment Democrat, receiving support from the majority of Democrats serving in Congress from California as well as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Senator Barbara Boxer. Leading the initial investigation into Trump’s impeachment brought Schiff widespread attention, and he seemed to connect with Democratic voters apprehensive about a Trump reelection.

Garvey, a 1969–1987 Dodgers and San Diego Padres player, has never before run for public office. Throughout his brief campaign, he frequently had trouble articulating his policy views and trailed his Democratic rivals in funding. However, in the closing weeks leading up to the primary, he was able to unite the Republican and conservative votes, probably with the help of Schiff, who sponsored advertisements endorsing the Republican in the hopes of avoiding a runoff against another Democrat.

Porter, a three-term congresswoman from an Orange County swing district, ran on a platform of change-mindedness and outsiderism. She has criticized Schiff for accepting corporate campaign money in previous elections and demanded that members of Congress be prohibited from trading stocks. However, she was probably harmed by lower-than-usual voter turnout and a lack of interest among voters of color and younger voters, two of her most important constituencies, in a presidential primary with no genuine competition at the top of the ticket.

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