Rep. Katie Porter on being “congressmom,” new memoir and competitive Senate race


Rep. Katie Porter is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. She announced her candidacy in January for the California Senate seat currently held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is retiring. 

Porter gained national attention after flipping a historically Republican district in Orange County during her first run for office in 2018. Upon her election, She then made history as the first single mom of young children to serve in Congress, juggling her career with raising her three children, Luke, 12, Paul, 10 and Betsy, 7. 

Porter’s recently published memoir, “I Swear: Politics Is Messier Than My Minivan,” sheds light on the challenges many working mothers face.

She said that early on in Congress, when she asked about the schedule so she could make childcare plans, “They said, ‘Well, we just can’t run Congress around people like you.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean like people like me?'” 

She was told she had “a special situation.” 

“And I said, ‘Special? There’s like 10 million, 12 million single parents out there. The only place where that’s special is in Congress, not in America,'” she said.

Porter travels to Washington at least three times a month, making sure that most of the family meals are prepared in advance. She has a whiteboard in her home for organizing her busy schedule. 

Porter’s children have grown up participating in her political campaigns and affectionately call her “congressmom.”  

The memoir also goes into some lighthearted parenting stories, but delves into a darker chapter in her life as a victim of domestic abuse.  

Porter said it was important she let her kids read her memoir before publishing it because she knew it would be “painful for them.” 

Known for her ability to challenge some of the titans of industry, she has gone viral on social media and is frequently a featured guest on some late-night talk shows. 

She was the first Democrat to formally announce her bid for the seat held by Feinstein, who has been in the Senate for three decade and is retiring at the end of her term in 2024. 

Congressman Adam Schiff, who played a significant role in former President Trump’s first impeachment, is viewed as one of Porter’s strongest challengers. When asked if she sees herself as a stronger warrior than Schiff, Porter emphasized that Schiff is a career politician, while she sees herself as more relatable to regular Americans. 

She said she will continue to advocate for new perspectives and fresh ideas to address the problems facing younger generations. 

It is this reason that Porter said she has decided to run for the Senate seat and isn’t ruling out a future White House bid one day. 

“I think one of the things you have to do as a single mom is just solve the next problem that’s in your face. But I’ve always been the kind of person who looked for ways to make a difference,” said Porter. 

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