Pelosi backing Schiff in Senate race in California if Feinstein retires

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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is backing Rep. Adam B. Schiff’s bid for a California Senate seat — so long as Sen. Dianne Feinstein exits, stage left.

Mrs. Feinstein’s political future has long been in doubt, and the early jockeying for position among Mr. Schiff and Rep. Katie Porter to replace the 89-year-old Democrat has added to the sense her days are numbered on Capitol Hill.

If Mrs. Feinstein exits the office, “I will be supporting [former] House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, who knows well the nexus between a strong democracy and a strong economy,” Mrs. Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“In his service in the House, he has focused on strengthening our democracy with justice and on building an economy that works for all,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

Ms. Schiff announced last week he is running for the Senate, joining Ms. Porter, who jumped into the race last month. Rep. Babara Lee reportedly has told colleagues she plans to run.

Mrs. Feinstein has said she will make her final decision on her future in the spring.

Mr. Schiff said it is an “honor” to have Mrs. Pelosi’s support.

“Together, we’ve played an outsized role within the U.S. Congress in protecting our democracy and supporting working families, and I’m excited to continue that work as their partner in expanding health care, combatting the climate crisis, and addressing homelessness,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Schiff said he has the support of 15 members of California’s Democratic delegation to Washington.

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