Dems Divide On Key Issue – It Got Ugly

During a debate on the Israel-Hamas war, candidates running for the next US senator from California shared contrasting views on whether to back an immediate cease-fire.

Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee held more progressive stances than Democrat California congressman Adam Schiff and Republican Steve Garvey. Schiff and Garvey did not indicate any endorsement of a cease-fire. Lee contended that the Israeli offensive in Gaza has had a detrimental impact on Israel’s security, leading to a significant loss of lives.

Schiff, who is currently leading in the polls, chose not to request a cease-fire, pointing out the disturbing actions of Hamas involving rape and torture. He also voiced concerns about requesting any country to stop fighting while a terrorist group is holding their citizens. Lee warned that if an immediate cease-fire is not put in place, the Israel-Hamas conflict could potentially escalate into a more significant regional conflict.

Porter, who has also stressed the significance of a lasting cease-fire, underscored the necessity for specific conditions to be met, such as the liberation of all hostages. Garvey, the lone Republican on stage, voiced doubt regarding the United States government’s capacity to persuade Israel to accept a cease-fire.

In California, the primary system is structured to allow the top two candidates, based on the number of votes received in March, to advance to a runoff during the general election in November.

Four candidates are competing for the open seat previously held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who passed away last year after serving in the Senate for three decades.

Early in-person voting will begin on Feb. 24, providing convenient voting centers for California residents. Those who prefer to vote by mail can take advantage of ballot drop-off locations starting on Feb. 6.