California won't have a female senator for first time in 3 decades

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Thursday, March 7, 2024
CA won't have a female senator for first time in 3 decades
California won't have a female senator for the first time in three decades after Rep. Adam Schiff, Steve Garvey move onto the November election.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Former baseball star Steve Garvey, a Republican, and Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat, will compete in November to fill Dianne Feinstein's U.S. Senate seat in California, effectively ending the congressional careers of Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Katie Porter.

"It is such a shame that we will not be having a female as our senator for the State of California. I think that having a female perspective is really important," says Sameena Usman, the Constituent Campaign Coordinator for Barbara Lee's senate campaign.

SUPER TUESDAY: Results for California senate, Prop 1 and other key Bay Area races

For the first time in more than three decades, California won't have a female senator. And of the Bay Area's dozen congressional districts, only three will be represented by women: Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco, Zoe Lofgren in the South Bay, and Lateefah Simon, the likely replacement for Lee's 12th district in the East Bay, if she wins in November.

"It speaks to the issues women face running in politics," says Dr. Samantha Francois, a Professor of Women's History at Cal State East Bay.

She suggests that low voter turnout in Tuesday's primary means fewer younger voters - who are often more likely to vote for minority candidates. She adds, that female candidates also still face a tough time fundraising.

"Adam Schiff outraised both his female opponents in the Democratic party, both Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, by two to one," she says.

But Francois also points out that Schiff got big endorsements from high-profile female politicians like Pelosi and Barbara Boxer. And, that exist polls suggest that women voters supported Schiff in equal numbers to men.

"I think that we have to have a broader lens in terms of looking at local elections, city elections and county elections. We saw Jackie Spear reelected to the Board of Supervisors," says Francois.

"We are still seeing that most Americans believe that voters are more likely to support a candidate if the candidate is a white man," explains Dr. Shaun Fletcher, Professor of Public Relations at San Jose State University.

He says women candidates may face barriers, but adds that the parties need to do more to empower their female candidates.

"I will put it on the system that is designed to select, to develop and to ultimately promote these women candidates as viable for their positions," he says.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live