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California Democrat uses Trump language, claims voting was ‘rigged’ by fellow Dem. after losing Senate race

Former U.S. Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden have secured their respective party nominations for the upcoming presidential election, having gathered the necessary delegates earlier this week. This development comes after the latest round of primary voting on Tuesday, setting the stage for a rematch between Trump and Biden in the November general election, as the campaign heats up.

Super Tuesday

Last week, voters in 16 states and a territory went to the polls, with Trump and Biden overwhelmingly defeating their rivals. These outcomes led Nikki Haley, the last competitor against Trump, to end her campaign the following day. Among these states was California, which also held its Senate primary election for one open seat. Under California’s open primary system, all candidates, regardless of party, appear on the same ballot, and the top two vote-getters advance to the general election.

Democrat claims the voting was rigged

Following her loss in the California Senate primary, Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter claimed that the election was “rigged,” echoing a rhetoric commonly associated with Trump. Porter attributed the alleged rigging to the financial support received by Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff from affluent donors, noting that Schiff had received nearly 770,000 more votes than her with 53% of the vote counted in the open primary at the time of her comments. Schiff at the end had nearly a million votes more than Porter. “We had the establishment running scared,” Porter wrote in a Wednesday post on X, “withstanding 3 to 1 in TV spending and an onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election.”

Using Trump language

The accusation of election rigging by a Democratic congresswoman, notably one from the progressive wing, stands out as an unusual move. This concept has become closely linked with Donald Trump, especially after his denial of the legitimacy of his 2020 election defeat. Yet, facing significant backlash, Porter did not retract her statement; instead, she reaffirmed her position with even greater emphasis.

Read also: AOC slams Dem. Senate members for not doing their jobs properly: “We need to go after the Supreme Court”

Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter claimed that the election was "rigged," after losing Senate race to Adam Schiff and Steve Garvey
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff – Facebook

Further pushing the narrative in an official statement

“‘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 wrote Thursday in a follow-up 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,” she continued. “Defending democracy means calling that out. At no time have I ever undermined the vote count and election process in CA, which are beyond reproach.”

Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter claimed that the election was "rigged," after losing Senate race to Adam Schiff and Steve Garvey

Democrat financially supported his Republican opponent’ candidacy

Porter hinted that Schiff and his supporters spent a lot of money on the campaign, including payments for ads that helped Republican Steve Garvey come in second, beating Porter who came third, and Democratic representative Barbara Lee who was fourth. Since this was an open primary, meaning the two with the most votes move on to the general election, no matter their party, Garvey doing better than Porter probably makes things easier for Schiff in this strongly Democratic state. A direct fight between Porter and Schiff in the general election would have made Schiff’s victory less certain. Schiff got an early support nod from Nancy Pelosi and most of the Democratic leaders in California.

Read also: California to use taxpayers’ money to defend convicted migrants in court for free under new controversial bill

Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter claimed that the election was "rigged," after losing Senate race to Adam Schiff and Steve Garvey

Porter’s political career in question

Schiff is running for the Senate spot that opened up when Dianne Feinstein passed away in September. Right now, Laphonza Butler is temporarily filling that seat after being chosen by Governor Gavin Newsom in October. Meanwhile, Porter, who’s seen as an up-and-comer in the Democratic Party, won’t be in Congress next year. She decided to give up her seat in Orange County to run in the Senate primary.

Porter sparked immediate reactions on X

“This is so petty and a terrible look for a Democrat. All you had to do was thank your staff, your voters and donors and congratulate your colleague, Adam Schiff. Instead you pulled a Trump, then doubled down. It’s so insulting to those of us who appreciated your work in the House,” Victoria Brownworth, a journalist, commented on Porter’s official statement.

“This is doubling down. Why can’t you just say, “Congratulations to Congressman Schiff. He won by our electoral rules and he will represent Californians well in the Senate.” It’s not hard, and I voted for both of you. You don’t want to be explaining definitions to constituents,” another user commented.

Politicians react

Porter’s claim spurred an indirect rebuke from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who wrote that California’s vote was “not rigged.” And Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), who formerly oversaw California voting as the state’s top elections official, called the notion “ridiculous” without naming Porter.

Read also: Millions of migrants who cross the border in Texas and California are also bringing contagious diseases

“It’s not rigged,” Padilla told POLITICO. “As the former secretary of state of California, I can assure you of the integrity of the elections and the results.”

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