Katie Porter Calls Senate Seat Primary Election ‘Rigged by Billionaires’

Katie Porter Calls Senate Seat Primary Election ‘Rigged by Billionaires’

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., speaks during a small rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court calling for ethics reform on the High Court in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

3/7/2024

Updated: 3/11/2024

As Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and Republican former Dodgers baseball All-Star Steve Garvey gear up for a November runoff election for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by the late Dianne Feinstein, candidate Rep. Katie Porter faced criticism March 7 for alleging that the system to select candidates is “rigged.”
Ms. Porter, who finished third in the primary election with 14.8 percent of the vote as of Sunday evening, said in a March 6 statement on X that some of Mr. Schiff’s donors spent millions of dollars to “rig” the election.
“Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign and voted to shake up the status quo in Washington,” she wrote. “Because of you, we had the establishment running scared—withstanding 3 to 1 in TV spending and an onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election.”
According to unofficial results as of Sunday, Mr. Schiff has received 32.5 percent of the vote. Mr. Garvey was just over 66,000 votes behind, at 32.1 percent.
Running fourth behind Ms. Porter is U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee with 8.6 percent.
Ms. Porter’s comment received backlash on social media from both Democrats and Republicans for its resemblance to language used by former President Donald Trump as he challenged the 2020 election results.
In response, Ms. Porter issued another statement later in the day to clarify her stance. She specifically emphasized that her statement was not directed at the election system.
“At no time have I ever undermined the vote count and election process in CA, which are beyond reproach,” Ms. Porter said. “A few billionaires spent $10 million+ on attack ads against me, including an ad rated ‘false’ by an independent fact checker.
“I said ‘rigged by billionaires’ and our politics are—in fact—manipulated by big dark money.”
Ms. Porter’s statement references spending by the super PAC Fairshake in the race, as the cryptocurrency-focused PAC—backed by billionaire supporters including Marc Andreessen, Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong, and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss—reportedly spent at least $10 million opposing Ms. Porter in the primary, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Both Ms. Porter and Mr. Schiff have raised substantial funds during their campaigns.
According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Schiff raised $31.4 million, with Ms. Porter’s campaign following closely, with $28 million. Ms. Lee raised $5 million for her campaign, and Mr. Garvey, $2.1 million.
Additionally, during the campaign, Mr. Schiff’s ads, which framed the race as a battle between his Democratic credentials and Mr. Garvey’s record, garnered attention and bolstered Mr. Garvey’s standing in the polls.
Political analysts speculate that Mr. Schiff strategically boosted Mr. Garvey’s profile to ward off competition from other Democratic candidates almost promising a victory over Mr. Garvey in the November election.
“It’s pretty clear Schiff is trying to bolster Garvey’s credibility as his opponent in the runoff and then Schiff can take the rest of the summer off,” Democratic political consultant Garry South told the Los Angeles Times.
It remains uncertain what Ms. Porter will do next, as the lawmaker had to relinquish her House seat to pursue the Senate candidacy.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Sophie Li

Sophie Li

Author

Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.