Congressman Ro Khanna announced on CNN Sunday that he will not run for U.S. Senate and is endorsing fellow California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee in the closely watched 2024 race for retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat.
"I have concluded that despite a lot of enthusiasm from Bernie folks, the best place, the most exciting place, action place, fit place, for me to serve as a progressive is in the House of Representatives," said Khanna, who co-chaired the 2020 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
"And I'm honored to be co-chairing Barbara Lee's campaign for the Senate and endorsing her today. We need a strong anti-war senator and she will play that role," the congressman told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."
In a statement, Khanna stressed that "Barbara is the progressive leader Californians need right now, and her solid record as one of Congress' most outspoken champions of justice speaks for itself."
"I know Barbara will not only fight for, but will deliver on our progressive priorities that are long overdue like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and ending the filibuster," he continued. "There's a reason she's beloved by Gen Z. Because Barbara understands the issues facing young people today and knows it is our responsibility to protect our rights, our democracy, and the planet for the next generation."
"What's more, I believe that representation matters. And for far too long, our country's institutions have failed to reflect that reality," added Khanna, noting that there is not currently a Black woman serving as a Democratic senator.
So far, Lee's opponents are two other Democrats representing California in the U.S. House of Representatives: Katie Porter and Adam Schiff. Feinstein, who is 89, confirmed her long-anticipated retirement plans last month.