Exclusive: Sen. Dianne Feinstein won’t announce her plans for 2024 — until 2024
WASHINGTON, DC - Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) arrives for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing concerning firearm accessory regulation and enforcing federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on Capitol Hill, December 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON— Countless Democrats just hit a California-sized snag: Sen. Dianne Feinstein may not retire after all.

In an exclusive interview with Raw Story, California’s senior senator announced she’s not not running. In fact, she has no plans to decide—let alone announce—her 2024 intentions until next year.

“I need a little bit of time, so it's not this year,” Feinstein told Raw Story at the Capitol Wednesday.

The 89-year-old incumbent says she isn’t fazed by her current—or potential—Democratic challengers.

“Oh, I don't mind it,” the senator smiled. “The more, the merrier.”

“Yeah?” I ask.

“Yes,” the former mayor of San Francisco replied.

“Do you think there’s gonna be a lot of people jumping in?”

“Oh, I have no idea,” Feinstein replied. “But however many there are, that's fine. I mean, I'm a big girl. I've run in a lot of races, so I know...”

“So you’re not worried?”

“Not particularly.”

“Are you going to be running?”

“Umm,” Feinstein thought aloud, “I don't know…”

Many have assumed Feinstein will announce her retirement early this year. Politico reported it. Irvine Rep. Katie Porter is already running off it, netting an early endorsement from Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee told the Congressional Black Caucus she’s all in — which Raw Story confirmed, even as she blushed when I asked.

Other California Dems reportedly on the sidelines include Adam Schiff, Ro Khanna and even Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Whether Feinstein runs or retires in 2024, the debate she’s having internally will become public sooner than later. The storied senator plans to deliver that message herself.

“It’s next year,” Feinstein continued, “so there's time.”