California Rep. Barbara Lee set to launch Senate bid by end of the month

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
Greg Nash
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is seen during the first day of the 118th session of Congress on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

California Rep. Barbara Lee (D) is set to launch a bid for the Senate by the end of the month, joining a race that already includes two other House members, The Washington Post reported Friday. 

A person with knowledge of Lee’s plans told the Post that she is planning her announcement to go along with Black History Month, which is this month. 

Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff have both already announced their bids for the Democratic nomination for the seat. Meanwhile, incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is 89 years old, has not officially announced whether she will run for another term or retire but has said she will publicly announce her decision in the spring. 

Lee said in a statement that no Black women currently serve in the Senate, and only two have served in the country’s history. She said “our voices are sorely missed” in the Senate. 

Lee said she has spent her life fighting against discrimination and advocating for people of color, underserved communities and those experiencing poverty.

“My lived experience as a Black woman making true progressive change for Californians will give a voice in the U.S. to those who are currently voiceless,” Lee continued. 

Porter was the first to jump in the race last month, and Schiff joined later in January. Schiff has said Feinstein told him to move forward with his run despite her not formally announcing her plans. 

The primary could potentially be highly competitive with several high-profile Democrats competing for the Senate seat. 

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has also been rumored to be a possible candidate for the seat. 

Schiff scored a high-profile endorsement when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former House Speaker, announced she would support him for the Senate seat if Feinstein retires. 

California’s open primary system means that the top two candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the general election, regardless of their political party.

— Updated 1:22 p.m.

Tags Adam Schiff Adam Schiff Barbara Lee Barbara Lee California Senate race Dianne Feinstein Dianne Feinstein Katie Porter Nancy Pelosi Ro Khanna

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