Los Angeles newscaster Christina Pascucci announced Wednesday morning that she is running for the U.S. Senate vacancy created by the death of Dianne Feinstein.
The 38-year-old Democrat is the latest entrant to join an increasingly crowded field for California’s 2024 Senate contest. The San Fernando Valley native argues that she offers a centrist option for voters tired of polarization in the nation’s politics.
“Enough is enough. People are fed up, including myself,” Pascucci said in an interview with The Times. “What you do is you sit down and reach across the aisle.”
Feinstein announced she would not run for reelection earlier this year, setting off a furious competition for her Senate seat among Democratic Reps. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank, Katie Porter of Irvine and Barbara Lee of Oakland. Former Dodgers all-star Steve Garvey recently announced his candidacy, joining little-known Republican candidates including attorney Eric Early and former healthcare executive James Bradley.
Pascucci faces the steep challenge of raising enough money to mount an effective campaign. While she is known among some Los Angeles voters because of her many years on air at KTLA and a recent stint on Fox News’ local affiliate, Pascucci would need to raise several million dollars to air campaign ads throughout California, which contains some of the most expensive media markets in the nation.
And she starts at a considerable financial disadvantage. Schiff had about $32 million in the bank at the end of September, Porter had $12 million and Lee $1.3 million cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed Sunday.
Pascucci joins a long list of journalists of both parties who have run for office, with a mixed record of success.
Kari Lake, a former Phoenix television anchor, is among the most prominent journalists and commentators to recently run for office. The prominent denier of the 2020 presidential election results unsuccessfully ran for governor of Arizona in 2022 and is currently running for Senate in the state.
Other former broadcast journalists include President Reagan, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania, who worked for local news stations and as a correspondent for the “Today” show.
Pascucci, who has never held elected office, argues her experience as a journalist, whether covering the voiceless or world leaders, gives her the grounding she needs to be an effective leader.
As an example, Pascucci said, as senator she would fly to Texas to talk to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott about his “publicity stunts” of sending tens of thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities, including Los Angeles.
“Has anyone tried it? I think too often we sit here and make statements and talk poorly about one another and don’t actually reach out to the person,” Pascucci said, adding that she grew up having impassioned conversations with her Republican parents over the dinner table in the San Fernando Valley.
“I’ve grown up hearing views different from my own,” she said, adding that she wants to make the world a better place for her daughter, who is due shortly after California’s March primary. “At the end of the day, I love them. I’m not going to dehumanize my family for thinking different. We have to sit there and have an open mind — why do people feel the way they feel?”