Indian American lawmaker from Silicon Valley says the House was “the best place” for him at the moment
Indian American House of Representative member Ro Khanna, who was considering a bid for the US Senate has announced he will not be running for the upper chamber next year.
Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley in the Congress is instead endorsing fellow Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee and will co-chair her campaign in the competitive race to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Read: Will Ro Khanna run for Feinstein’s seat? (December 8, 2022)
Khanna, who was considering his own bid for the US Senate seat that Feinstein will vacate at the end of her term, told CNN Sunday he decided the House was “the best place” for him at the moment.
“I have concluded that despite a lot of enthusiasm from Bernie [Sanders] 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, and I’m honored to be co-chairing Barbara Lee’s campaign for the Senate and endorsing her today,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We need a strong anti-war senator, and she will play that role,” he said. Lee is facing off against fellow Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, who have each already picked up key endorsements, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi respectively.
Read: Ro Khanna decries Rahul Gandhi’s expulsion from parliament (March 25, 2023)
As a leader in the House Progressive Caucus, Khanna’s endorsement could help Lee shore up progressive support in what’s expected to be a competitive — and expensive — race, according to Politico.
“I have respect for them,” Khanna said of Porter and Schiff, “but Barbara Lee is a unique voice. She was the lone vote against the endless war in Afghanistan. She stood up so strongly against the war in Iraq. She worked with me and stopping — trying to stop the war in Yemen and the war powers resolution.”
Khanna also noted that there are currently no African American women in the Senate, and Lee would fill that void. “Frankly, Jake, representation matters,” Khanna told CNN. “The other two are formidable candidates, but I think Barbara Lee is going to be very, very strong.”
Feinstein, 89, the longest-serving woman in Senate history, announced her plans to forgo a 2024 bid last month.
California’s primary system allows the top two vote-getters to advance to the general election regardless of party, a system that’s likely to pit two Democrats against each other in November 2024 in a solidly blue state.