The decade's most triggering comedy
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) announced on Tuesday she is running for the seat held by retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in 2024.
The congresswoman, whose district lies in Alameda County and includes cities like Oakland, enters the fray after two of her Democratic House colleagues, Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, declared their candidacy.
“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,” Lee said in a tweet. “Californians deserve a strong, progressive leader who has delivered real change.”
Lee shared a video announcement in which the congresswoman describes how she has overcome adversity from racism as a black woman, domestic violence, and 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
The congresswoman drives home the point that she will not back down from challenges by hearkening back to her being the sole member of Congress to vote against an authorization of war in Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Key issues raised by Lee include raising up the middle class, ending poverty, tackling the “climate crisis,” and fighting “MAGA extremists” on abortion rights and democracy.
Feinstein announced this month she would not seek re-election in 2024. At the age of 89, Feinstein is the Senate’s oldest current member. Lee is 76, compared to 62-year-old Schiff and 49-year-old Porter.
But Feinstein has been a member of the upper chamber since 1994, underscoring how rare it has been for there to be an open Senate seat in California. The state’s other U.S. senator, Alex Padilla, took on the role after his predecessor Kamala Harris was elected vice president.
Schiff already has the endorsement of one high-profile California politician: former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Lee appeared to shrug off the move. “Speaker Pelosi has a right to make her own decisions about who she endorses,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.