(The Hill) – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she will support Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for Senate in California if Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) chooses to retire from office in 2024. 

The former Speaker said in a statement released by Schiff’s Senate campaign on Thursday that she will support Feinstein if she chooses to run for another term, but she is endorsing Schiff if Feinstein does not run. 

“If Senator Feinstein decides to seek re-election, she has my whole-hearted support. If she decides not to run, I will be supporting House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, who knows well the nexus between a strong Democracy and a strong economy,” she said. 

Pelosi said she wanted to recognize Feinstein’s record of being a “champion” for democracy and working to oppose the far right. She noted that some of Feinstein’s accomplishments include the passage of the Violence Against Women Act and the Respect for Marriage Act in her capacity as the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

She said Schiff would be effective at prioritizing “people over politics” and helping to make the economy work for everyone in the Senate. 

“Ever since I supported Adam in his race for Congress in 2000, I have known his commitment to putting the American Dream in place for everyone,” Pelosi said. “Adam has dedicated his life to public service. Every time I have asked Adam to take on the tough fight against extremist forces, he has responded with integrity, strength and success.” 

Pelosi’s endorsement gives Schiff the backing of a top Democrat in what could be a crowded primary. Feinstein, who is 89 years old, has not officially announced whether she will run for reelection in 2024 and has said she will likely decide by the spring. 

But that has not slowed down Schiff and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) from announcing their bids for the seat. 

Schiff has said Feinstein told him to “go forward” with his Senate run despite her not having made an announcement yet on her plans. 

Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna have also been rumored to be planning to make runs in the Democratic primary for the seat.

Following Pelosi’s endorsement, 20 other current and former members of California’s congressional delegation endorsed Schiff. The current members are Democratic Reps. Julia Brownley, Jim Costa, Anna Eshoo, Jimmy Gomez, Jared Huffman, Mike Levin, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Jimmy Panetta, Scott Peters, Brad Sherman, Eric Swalwell, Mike Thompson and Juan Vargas.

“I am honored to have earned the support of Speaker Pelosi and so many of my colleagues from the California delegation,” Schiff said in a release.