Mailbag: Porter’s announcement is not unexpected

Rep. Katie Porter addresses a packed room at Kean Coffee in Tustin in August 2019.
Rep. Katie Porter addresses a packed room at Kean Coffee in Tustin in August 2019. Porter recently announced a bid to replace Sen. Diane Feinstein, though the latter has not announced her retirement.
(Ana Venegas / For The Times)

Not too many people were surprised by Rep. Katie Porter’s announcement on Jan. 10 that she was running for the Senate seat occupied by octogenarian Diane Feinstein, who has not yet committed to retirement. Porter has been consistently elected to Congress representing Orange County districts since 2018 as a progressive Democrat. She just recently won a narrow victory over Scott Baugh in the newly reconstructed 47th Congressional District made up of
Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, a district which leans more Republican than her previous district. Porter has proven to be one of the best fundraisers in California but has had to spend a considerable amount of her campaign war chest in her most recent election.

Should she be elected to the Senate where she would serve a six-year term, she would bring considerable Democratic identity and prestige to this purple county, which leans red more often than not. Political party aside, Katie would help shift some of California’s leadership to the south and most significantly to Orange County, rather than to the northern part of the state, which has traditionally dominated that role. As such, it would be a coup for Southern California in general.

Porter has a national reputation for standing up to Wall Street, pharmaceutical companies, oil and gas giants and lobbyists. She is one of just 10 members of Congress who doesn’t take a cent of corporate PAC or federal lobbyist money. She is most significantly known for standing up for American families by badgering the head of companies and banks for their corporate greed that she vividly demonstrates on her professorial whiteboards. Before running for Congress, Katie was a law professor at UC Irvine, specializing in consumer protection law.

No doubt Porter will have significant competition in this rare opportunity to run for a coveted Senate seat for which she has been the first to “ throw her hat into the ring.” Already there has been criticism of her doing so before Feinstein has announced her retirement, but doing so is not unheard of. She has also been criticized for announcing her candidature during a natural disaster in the state, but her answer to that is that it is all the more reason to provide her strong leadership to the increasingly difficult problems facing California and the federal government.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

While Supervisor Katrina Foley and state Sen. Dave Min are dedicated public servants and longtime members of our nation’s sole functioning political party, they ought to lend their coupled support to former U.S. Congress member Harley Rouda. With a thin line in the House of Representatives between the sensible Democratic members and the unreasonable Republican cabal, we can’t afford to divide the Democratic vote. Let all of us O.C. Democrats align behind Rouda and reject the revolting Republican agenda currently and dangerously in play.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

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