Retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer
On Thursday, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer officially announced her retirement
after four terms. Boxer's departure was long expected, but it will nevertheless set off an unpredictable race to succeed her.
Under California election law, all the candidates will run on the same ballot in the June primary. The top-two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to the general election. In this very blue state most of the action is expected to be on the Democratic side, and it's possible we could have a Democratic vs. Democratic general election. It's also possible, if not likely, that top-two candidates could both be Republicans if too many Democrats split the vote.
The Golden State is incredibly blue, and most of the action is on the Democratic side. Plenty of potential names have been bandied about, though no one has made a move yet out of respect for Boxer. The most frequently mentioned name is Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is widely viewed as a rising star in the state party. Harris may be strong enough to deter most of her would-be opponents from running, though it's hard to say at this point.
But Harris is far from the only potential Democratic candidate. Head over the fold for more.
11:08 AM PT: We also have some new candidate developments below the fold.
2:01 PM PT: We have even more developments.
4:26 PM PT: We've collected all this information in one list over here.
Other Democratic contenders who have been mentioned as possible contenders include:
• Rep. Xavier Becerra
• Treasurer John Chiang
• Rep. John Garamendi
• Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
• Former Rep. Jane Harman
• Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
• Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
• Secretary of State Alex Padilla
• Rep. Raul Ruíz
• Rep. Loretta Sanchez
• Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg
• Rep. Jackie Speier
• Billionaire Tom Steyer
• Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
• Former Controller Steve Westly
We should have more clarity in the coming days and weeks, as some of these people take their names out of contentions and others make their interests clear. There are also likely some prospective candidates who haven't been talked about who could run. Note that Gov. Jerry Brown will be termed out in 2018 and California's other senator Dianne Feinstein may also retire that year, so some potential candidates may decide that they can wait two years before seeking a promotion.
There's no obvious GOP contenders. Republican operatives are hoping to attract someone who can self-fund a campaign, though there aren't any names circulating yet.
This is going to be a very dramatic race, and we'll be watching it unfold at Daily Kos Elections.
Update: We have some new developments here. On the Democratic side, sources close to Antonio Villaraigosa are telling Bloomberg's Jonathan Allen that he is "seriously considering" a run. Billionaire Tom Steyer also quickly put out a statement praising Boxer without mentioning his own plans... which does indicate he's thinking about it. However, current Los Angeles Eric Garcetti quickly announced he wasn't running.
On the Republican side, Rep. Darrell Issa quickly made it clear he isn't interested. The Sacramento Bee also gives us plenty of potential GOP names, as well as a few new Democratic ones, but none of them have made their intentions clear yet.
Update 2: Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg also has pressed the unlike button on a bid, with sources close to her telling the Los Angeles Times's Seema Mehta that she won't run.
Update 3: No run for Democratic state Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon either.
Update 4: A few more GOP names to eliminate. Condi Rice and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have both said no. Kevin Faulconer also doesn't sound interested, tweeting "My focus is on leading San Diego and continuing to write our city’s comeback story." That's not an iron clad no, but it doesn't seem like he's going for it.
Update 5: Either Newsom or Harris may run, but probably both of them won't. The Washington Post has a few good reasons why. Essentially, the two are quite close both personally and politically, and either can just wait until in 2018.
The Washington Post also gives us some new potential names. On the Dem side, we have San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Rep. Karen Bass. On the GOP side they cite physicist Charles Munger Jr., former Insurance Commissioner and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner, and HP head and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. All three Republicans are very wealthy- Whitman especially.
Update 6: Ok...
I asked @KJ_MayorJohnson's office if he was interested in @SenatorBoxer's seat in 2016. Spokesman: "No comment."
Kevin Johnson is the Democratic mayor of Sacramento.
Update 7: MSNBC gives us two more Democratic names: Controller Betty Yee and former Treasurer Bill Lockyer.
Update 8: Via The Hill we have another two Dems: Rep. Adam Schiff and Los Angeles County Supervisor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.
On the GOP side, former Rep. Mary Bono hinted that she may go for it, though all we have is a very cryptic tweet.