GOP Pushes Schiff Challenger Forward

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff and Republican Steve Garvey were the top two vote-getters in California’s open Senate primary on Super Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

Unlike most states, California holds a nonpartisan primary in which candidates from both parties compete on the same ballot. The two top vote-getters then go on to compete in the General Election. Since California is a deep-blue state, Republican candidates are often shut out of the general election entirely, with Democrats often winning the top two spots.

With 85 percent of the votes counted, Democrat Adam Schiff was in first place with 32 percent of the vote followed very closely by the former Major League baseball star Garvey with 31.9 percent.

Democrat Rep. Katie Porter, who chose not to run for reelection to the House so she could run for Feinstein’s seat, was in a distant third place with only 15.2 percent of the vote. Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee was in fourth place with 9.1 percent.

Porter caused waves following last week’s primary, accusing billionaires of rigging the election against her. When Porter was criticized for claiming that the primary was rigged, she released a statement on March 7 explaining that she was not questioning California’s election process or vote counting. Instead, she claimed that billionaires spent more than $10 million on attack ads against her to “manipulate” the outcome through “dishonest means.”

During his victory party in his hometown of Palm Desert, Garvey said Schiff should not underestimate his campaign in the deep-blue state, noting that he was running to appeal to voters across party lines by focusing on issues important to them, including inflation and the state’s crime and homeless crisis.

Schiff’s victory celebration was interrupted by a group of pro-Hamas protesters who chanted “Ceasefire now” and “Free Palestine.” After attempting to speak over the protesters, Schiff wrapped up his remarks early.

Schiff and Garvey are running to replace Senator Laphonza Butler, whom Governor Gavin Newsom appointed last year to serve the remainder of Feinstein’s term.