Barbara Lee, a Longtime Congresswoman, Is Running for Senate in California
Representative Barbara Lee, who stood alone against authorizing military action after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and remains a leading antiwar voice in Congress, entered the 2024 Senate race in California on Tuesday, becoming the third prominent Democrat to run for the seat being vacated by Dianne Feinstein.
Ms. Lee, 76, the highest-ranking Black woman appointed to Democratic leadership in the House, unveiled her Senate bid in a video that highlighted the racism she fought against in her youth and the struggles she faced as a single mother and a survivor of domestic violence.
“No one is rolling out the welcome mat, especially for someone like me,” Ms. Lee said in the video. “I was the girl they didn’t allow in.”
The announcement, which had been anticipated for weeks, has further set the stage for one of the most competitive and expensive Senate races in California in decades. Ms. Feinstein, 89, who was first elected in 1992, plans to retire at the end of her term. The race to replace her now includes Ms. Lee, who represents a district that includes Oakland; Representative Katie Porter from Orange County; and Representative Adam Schiff from Los Angeles.
In an interview, Ms. Lee said she wanted her campaign to give a platform to missing voices, including on the burden of inflation on families, the high costs of child care and other issues.
“There are so many issues that I have experience with that I don’t believe are being raised in the Senate as they should be,” she said. “Lived experience and representation in government not only matter for women or for people of color — they help strengthen the country.”