Campaign Report — The race for California Senate begins

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, tracking all things related to the 2022 midterm elections and beyond. You can expect this newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday as we make sense of this year’s elections and look ahead to 2024.

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Porter throws hat in for Feinstein’s Senate seat

BREAKING NEWS: California Rep. Katie Porter (D) announced today that she is running for California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in 2024. Porter made the announcement in a video released earlier today.

It’s unclear whether Feinstein, 89, will run for reelection. However, in the video announcing her bid, Porter said that “it’s time for new leadership in the U.S. Senate.”

The Hill’s Max Greenwood has more here.


Democrat Aaron Rouse and Republican Kevin Adams are facing off in the special election for Virginia’s 7th state Senate district today. The seat was formerly held by now-Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-Va.), who represents the state’s second congressional district.

The seat stands to be somewhat of an uphill climb for Democrats. Kiggans won the seat by just less than a point in 2019, while Biden won the district by 10 points in 2020. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) won the seat during the state’s 2021 gubernatorial campaign, defeating former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. And in 2022, Kiggans trailed Luria by four points in precincts within the state Senate district, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

However, Democrats say they are feeling optimistic about the seat, pointing to their party’s success in the state in the 2022 midterms.

“It is still a Republican seat,” said Gianni Snidle, communications director for the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus. “So flipping a special seat like that is difficult, but I think tomorrow we’re going to be on top, hopefully.”

Regardless of who wins Tuesday’s special election, Democrats will still retain a majority in Virginia’s state Senate. But Democrats argue that a Republican victory could impact the future of abortion access legislation in the state. Youngkin has proposed a 15-week abortion ban in Virginia, with the exceptions of rape, incest and life of the mother.

The Hill’s Julia Manchester has more here.

Five Senate Democrats who could retire

Last week, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) made headlines when she announced she would not seek reelection in 2024. While her announcement has sparked speculation about potential Republicans and Democrats who could replace her, it could signal a wave of Democratic retirements ahead of the general election.

And while Democrats grew their majority in 2022, they will have to defend more than twice as many seats as Republicans in 2024, making any potential retirements that more crucial. The Hill’s Caroline Vakil details a list of five Senate Democrats who could retire ahead of the 2024 election.

But Democrats say they will be in good hands with Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) returning as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Senate Democrats defied expectations under Peters in the 2022 midterms, growing their majority in the upper chamber in what was supposed to be a difficult election year.

“Gary is a battle tested, proven winner whose hard work led Senate Democrats to defy the political odds and to one of our best midterm results in recent history. Under his leadership we will continue our campaign victories in 2024,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement announcing Peters’ return on Monday.


Democrats will face a number of off year elections in 2024, and Kentucky’s gubernatorial race is shaping up to be one of the most difficult.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is running for a second term in the state, which former President Trump won by large margins in 2024. While Beshear enjoys decent approval ratings in Kentucky, Democrats are aware that the state is treading redder and Republicans will knock him over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hill’s Caroline Vakil has more on what we can expect in the Kentucky gubernatorial campaign this year.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Campaign page for the latest news and coverage. See you Thursday. 

Tags 2024 California Senate race Andy Beshear Debbie Stabenow Dianne Feinstein Dianne Feinstein Gary Peters Glenn Youngkin Jen Kiggans Katie Porter Katie Porter Senate Democrats Terry McAuliffe

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