What to know about the Senate candidates in California ahead of the primary election

Four people stand behind lecterns on a stage.

Reps. Barbara Lee, from left, Adam B. Schiff and Katie Porter and former baseball player Steve Garvey stand onstage during a televised debate for candidates in the race to succeed the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Jan. 22, 2024, in Los Angeles.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

The race to follow in Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s footsteps was always going to be a monumental clash among huge personalities.

So far the contest has not disappointed as Reps. Adam B. Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee and former baseball player Steve Garvey vie with dozens of others to represent just under 40 million Californians. Perhaps even more stark than their diverging views on policy is the candidates’ backstories.

They include a World Series champion, a former star law professor, a prosecutor and a volunteer with the Black Panther Party. Their distinctive biographies provide a blueprint for how they might govern. So the Los Angeles Times dispatched reporters to look into the lives and careers of Garvey, Porter, Schiff and Lee.

Here are the illuminating profiles that hopefully will help Californians decide how they want to vote in the March 5 primary.

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