The fight for the senate seat, formerly held for decades by the late Dianne Feinstein took center stage Monday in the Bay Area as the four leading candidates squared off in a live debate.
The election to fill the remainder of Feinstein’s term is now just three weeks away followed by a November general election.
There were a few barbs exchanged between the front runners Adam Schiff and Republican Steve Garvey, while Congresswoman Katie Porter called an end to political bickering between Democrats and Republicans.
The Senate debate heat was turned up when the only Republican in the race, candidate Steve Garvey, went right after his opponents on the stage on the issue of homelessness.
“These are three career politicians who have failed the people. Sixty years of experience. They could have solved this issue,” he said.
The former Major League Baseball player, with no political experience, jumped into a virtual tie with Porter for second in recent polls.
But both are chasing Schiff who led the house impeachment of former President Donald Trump and who said Trump is still the greatest threat to democracy — something Garvey jumped on.
“Packing the court. Doing away with the filibuster, these are the things that deconstruct democracy, and you were in advocate for this,” said Garvey.
“And Donald Trump packed the Supreme Court, which is why millions of Americans lost their right of reproductive freedom,” said Schiff.
Meanwhile, Porter, who became famous for her tough questions and white board presentations in House committee hearings, said she’s the only candidate fighting for fair pay and crackdowns on corporate price gouging.
“We need to be focused on our future as a state and how we can bring down the cost of living and how people can afford to live here and raise their families here,” said Porter.
But the Bay Area’s own Barbara Lee, who has been trailing in the polls, says she’ll make sure the richest 1% pay their fair share in taxes and she stood by her call for a hefty $50-an-hour minimum wage.
“You’re talking about $20 to $25, fine, but I have got to be focused on what California needs and what the affordability factor is,” she said.
The top two vote getters on March 5 move on to the November general election regardless of their party affiliations.
Ultimately, voters are choosing a senator to complete the rest of Senator Feinstein’s term, plus the regular six-year term that begins in January.
Source: NBC Bay Area