The Los Angeles Times endorsed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for the state’s tightly contested Senate primary on Sunday, giving Schiff a leg up from the state’s largest newspaper.
Schiff faces Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) in a three-way race, which is expected to be the most expensive primary campaign in history.
The group is running for the seat currently held by Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), who was appointed after the death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) last year. Butler is not pursuing election.
The Times gave credence to Schiff’s rivals, calling the trio of representatives “smart, experienced, savvy members of the House who could represent California well in the Senate.”
“Schiff, however, stands out for his extraordinary leadership over the last several years in helping to protect the nation’s institutions, the rule of law and American democracy itself from former President Trump,” the publication’s editorial board wrote.
Schiff has been a primary target of former President Trump’s supporters due to his fierce leadership of the House Intelligence Committee, the board wrote. He also led the first impeachment investigation into Trump in 2019. Schiff was stripped of his committee seat and censured by the GOP last year.
The board also praised his work on the House Jan. 6 committee in 2021.
“It’s no surprise that Schiff is so often tapped to take the lead in these high-profile efforts,” the board wrote. “Colleagues describe him as an incredibly intelligent and uniquely skilled communicator who can get to the core of an issue — a talent essential to mustering the support of fellow legislators and the public at large.”
“Moreover, he’s considered a team player, practiced in the art of compromise and someone who, despite the vilification from Trumpland, has the respect of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle,” they continued. “That’s important for California.”
Schiff has also garnered notable endorsements, the Times board pointed out, including from former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
The board also included brief praise for both Porter and Lee, lauding Porter for her focus on corporate regulation and Lee for her work advocating for LGBTQ rights, among other issues.
Schiff holds a narrow lead among California voters, according to a Berkeley IGS poll released Friday. About 21 percent of California voters back Schiff, compared with 17 percent for Porter and 7 percent for Lee.
California has a nonpartisan primary, meaning both Democrats and Republicans will feature on the same primary ballot. Leading GOP candidate Steve Garvey, a former Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres player, garnered 13 percent support in the poll.
The primary is set for March 5, on Super Tuesday. The top two candidates on the ballot will advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.