January 2025 Here We Come
California Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s announcement that she will seek a sixth term in 2018 puts the lawmaker on track to become the oldest female U.S. Senator in history. Feinstein – at 84 years, 3 months, 20 days – is already the second oldest woman to serve in the chamber behind Georgia Democrat Rebecca Felton who served briefly in 1922, exiting at the age of 87 years, 5 months, 13 days. If reelected, Feinstein would pass Felton on December 5, 2020 and would finish her sixth term at 91 years, 6 months, 13 days. The only other female senator to serve into her 80s is Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski who retired in January 2017 at the age of 80 years, 5 months, 15 days. To date, none of the 50 appointed or elected women to serve in the U.S. Senate died in office.
“Di Fi” may well have chosen to stand down and call it a career if she believed that her in-state colleague would serve at least 2 full terms in the chamber (come 2021 Kamala H seems to have an outside chance to become POTUS, or a department or prestigious agency head). Of course, it is also plausible that the Senior Senator of (for the time being) the most populous State may already have decided to serve just a partial term (perhaps depending on Senator Harris’ political trajectory), and hand over the seat to a successor of her choosing (the dominant Ds seem all but certain to retain – for the forseeable future – the second highest elected executive office of the nation).