Democratic California Rep. Barbara Lee announced Tuesday she is running for Senate in 2024.
The representative will attempt to replace retiring Senator Dianne Feinstein, who announced Feb. 14 that she will not run for reelection.
Lee has represented California’s 12th District since 1998, and was elected to the California State Assembly in 1990. She currently serves in Democratic leadership and occupies several powerful committees such as the Appropriations Committee. She has championed LGBT rights, abortion rights and the advancement of minorities a key part of her legacy in Congress. She is known for being the only member of Congress to vote against the war in Afghanistan post-9/11.
“No one is rolling out the welcome mat, especially for someone like me. I was the girl they didn’t allow in, who couldn’t drink from the water fountain,” Lee said in her announcement video. She also spoke of her experience being a single mother and dealing with homelessness.
Today I am proud to announce my candidacy for U.S. Senate. I’ve never backed down from doing what’s right. And I never will. Californians deserve a strong, progressive leader who has delivered real change.#BarbaraLeeSpeaksForMe pic.twitter.com/sEjmABg2BS
— Barbara Lee (@BarbaraLeeForCA) February 21, 2023
In the first interview of her campaign, Lee leaned into her identity and experience.
“The Senate needs a perspective that I bring with my life experiences, as a progressive Black woman who not only fights for what is right, but also gets the job done,” Lee said. “I have a proven record, I have experience on many issues working with Democrats and Republicans to get the job done. That gap needs to be filled, I’m really looking forward to this campaign and to winning.”
“I’m going to go everywhere I can so people can understand I see them, and that I want to be their champion and put forth my work I’ve been doing all along in Congress on their behalf,” the representative continued.
Lee joins a growing Senate race that now includes Adam Schiff and Katie Porter.
“I’ve been fighting for structural change, institutional change, not tinkering around the edges,” she said.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.