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Ro Khanna Not Running for U.S. Senate, Endorses Alex Padilla for 2022 Bid

Ro Khanna Not Running for U.S. Senate, Endorses Alex Padilla for 2022 Bid

  • Encouraged by his support in the AAPI communities, the Indian American progressive lawmaker had earlier considered a U.S. Senate run himself.

California Congressman Ro Khanna is not challenging Sen. Alex Padilla for his November 2022 election campaign. On Aug. 9, the progressive lawmaker became “the last of California’s 42 House Democrats” to endorse Padilla, The Hill reported.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Khanna said he was proud to endorse Padilla in his campaign for the U.S. Senate. “Since joining us in Washington, Alex Padilla has become a national voice on voting rights and is cosponsoring progressive priorities including Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and the $15 minimum wage,” Khanna said, adding that both Sen. Padilla and he “are proud sons of immigrants who came to the U.S. with dreams of a brighter future.”

Earlier this year, Padilla became the first Latino to serve as a senator when California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed him to fill the seat vacated by Kamala Harris when she became vice president. According to The Hill, “that incumbency advantage in a Democratic state makes Padilla a heavy favorite to win in 2022.”

Khanna told the San Francisco Chronicle that he wanted to back Padilla “in the interest of Democratic unity at a time when recent polls say voters are virtually split over whether to recall Newsom.” He told the paper that “it’s so important for the Democrats at this point in California to be united, and I wanted to make that very clear,” emphasizing that he isn’t interested in running for governor next year should Newsom be recalled. “I anticipate we will win, and I’m going to do everything I can to campaign for Gavin.”

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In April, Khanna had expressed an interest to run for the U.S. Senate. He told Politico that he was encouraged to announce a bid for the Senate because of “his increasingly active group of supporters in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.” Politico says Khanna, who served as a national director of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidate, “has a growing national profile as a progressive leader and prodigious fundraiser.”

In addition to getting Khanna’s support, The Hill reports that leading Padilla’s Democratic endorsements are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, as well as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and as well as California’s entire Democratic House delegation.

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