Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of California, a first-term lawmaker who has gained wide notice for her forceful grilling of corporate executives in congressional hearings, plans to endorse Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president, two people familiar with the decision told CNN.
Porter, who captured a historically Republican district in 2018, is one of the highest-profile members of the freshman class, and just this week she conducted a scathing interrogation of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, on Capitol Hill.
Her expected endorsement is a coup for Warren, whose rise in the polls has not yet been matched by support from Democratic elected officials. It would also be a blow to Porter’s fellow Californian, Sen. Kamala Harris, who has been counting on her home state’s primary to help her mount a comeback in the race.
Spokespeople for Warren and Porter declined to comment.
Both Warren and Harris are personally close with Porter, and both senators endorsed her in a competitive primary election last year. Porter is a former student of Warren’s at Harvard Law School and, like Warren, is an expert on bankruptcy law. Porter worked closely with Harris when the senator was the attorney general of California, helping oversee a major legal settlement between the state and mortgage lenders.
Porter and Warren have a friendship dating back years. The congresswoman credits the senator with her decision to become a law professor herself.
In an interview with CNN earlier this year, the freshman congresswoman described approaching Warren in Cambridge years ago, and saying: “Professor Warren, I’m interested in possibly becoming a law professor.”
“And she instantly was like: ‘This is what we can do, have you thought about this, do you know so-and-so, would you be willing to do this opportunity?’ And within a matter of literally five minutes as we briskly walked through Harvard Square, she had helped me plot out the next steps that I needed to achieve my dream,” Porter recalled. “So she’s been a wonderful mentor to me my entire career.”
Porter said that she even she named her daughter, Elizabeth, after her mentor.