LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - A Republican lawyer announced on Tuesday that he will run in the 2024 race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. He joins a growing field of candidates in a liberal state.
Eric Early, who was unsuccessful in his bids for the office of state attorney general and Congress in 2022, 2018 and 2020, said that he would campaign to win over 'forgotten Californians', those struggling with crime, drug abuse, high taxes, and what he termed a 'far-left' ideology creeping in government.
In a statement posted on his website, he said that he would "stand up to the Socialist, "woke" interests that control Washington, D.C."
Feinstein, who is the oldest member of Congress and has been in Congress for over 50 years, announced her decision to not run for re-election in February. Her term expires in January 2025.
Early, who is from Los Angeles, starts at a disadvantage.
Since 2006, no Republican has won a statewide election in California. Democrats control the California Legislature and congressional delegation. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by approximately 2 to 1.
California Republicans have found it difficult to recruit established and well-funded candidates for statewide elections in recent years due to their poor record on Election Day. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's re-election campaign in 2010 was met with only token GOP opposition.
Early joins a group of prominent Democratic members in Congress, including Rep. Katie Porter who is known for her hard-hitting questions of CEOs and witnesses during hearings, Rep. Adam Schiff who gained national recognition as the lead prosecutor of then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment case, and Rep. Barbara Lee. She was the only member of Congress that voted against authorizing the use of force following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Early did not make it to the runoff in November 2022, despite receiving 16% of votes. In 2018, he won 14% of votes and failed to advance. In the 2020 race for Congress, he was defeated by a wide margin.
Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee are all members of Congress. They have served in Congress for 51 years. Early stated that "Judge them by their actions and votes -- They put us in this mess".