Katie Porter Calls California Senate Race 'Rigged'

Rep. Katie Porter (D., Calif.) / Getty Images
March 7, 2024

Rep. Katie Porter (D., Calif.) on Wednesday said billionaires attempted to "rig" her state's Senate primary, which she lost the day before.

"Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign and voted to shake up the status quo in Washington," Porter said on X. "Because of you, we had the establishment running scared—withstanding 3 to 1 in TV spending and an onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election."

Porter also insinuated that "special interests" targeted her with spending because she wanted to fight them.

"Special interests like politics as it is today because they control the politicians," she added. "As we’ve seen in this campaign, they spend millions to defeat someone who will dilute their influence and disrupt the status quo. But take my word for it: I'll never stop fighting for you."

After she received backlash for her comments, which included a Community Note on her X post, she issued a statement doubling down on her contention.

"'Rigged' means manipulated by dishonest means. A few billionaires spent $10 million+ on attack ads against me, including an ad rated 'false' by an independent fact checker," Porter said in a statement. "That is dishonest means to manipulate an outcome. I said 'rigged by billionaires,' and our politics are—in fact—manipulated by big dark money. Defending democracy means calling that out. At no point have I ever undermined the vote count and election process in California, which are beyond reproach."

The ad Porter referenced appears to be one from a crypto-aligned political action committee, which claimed that she took money from "Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Big Bank executives." The Sacramento Bee called the ad "mostly false" and "misleading."

On Tuesday night, Republican Steve Garvey and Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) advanced to the state's runoff elections, which will decide who will replace Sen. Laphonza Butler (D., Calif.) as the successor to the late Dianne Feinstein.