In 2024, California will have a US Senate race as Dianne Feinstein will be retiring, even though she refuses to address the issue until the Spring.
There is no possible way that Feinstein, who will be 90 in June, will run again, as there are many signs that she is in early stages dementia, and should not have run in 2018 at age 85. She seems often to be unaware of events around her and to have major memory problems regarding what she has been told by her staff or others. It is simply pride and stubbornness that has prevented her from resigning in dignity.
The refusal of older members of Congress to retire when in their 80s is a sign of ego winning out over reality, as for instance, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley winning reelection at age 89 in November 2022. Yes, Grassley is still able to do pushups and other exercises, and for now, seems fit mentally, but the idea of a Senator being in office until past age 95 is ludicrous, and if he survives until the end of 2028, he will be the oldest ever Senator except for South Carolina Republican Senator Strom Thurmond, who was clearly in dementia, but remained in his Senate seat, being guided in every way by his staff, until past age 100!
California Governor Gavin Newsom has indicated that if a vacancy was to occur by Feinstein’s leaving earlier, that he would appoint an African American woman as her replacement, with the likely choice being California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who has been in the House of Representatives since 1998, and will be 77 this summer.
That is fine for the short term, but the idea that Lee plans to run for the open seat in 2024 when she would be past 78, and be serving until past 84, is NOT a good idea. She has said she would only serve one term, but who can say that would be fulfilled, as ego could come in the way, and she could decide to run again for a second term until age 90!
Barbara Lee has had an admirable record in the House of Representatives, but she should NOT run for a full term, and instead continue her service in the lower house, unless she is appointed, and then agrees NOT to run for the full term!
Instead, California has a choice of three Congressional members who have served well–Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Ro Khanna, all decades younger, and capable of gaining seniority and serving, in theory, for an extended period of years!