Feb 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Barbara Lee launches Senate campaign to replace Dianne Feinstein

Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) officially announced on Tuesday her bid for California’s U.S. Senate seat in 2024, becoming the third House Democrat vying to replace outgoing Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Why it matters: This is shaping up to be the most competitive Senate primary in California in decades.

Driving the news: "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," Lee said in her announcement video released on Twitter.

  • Axios reported last week that Lee had filed to run and was expected to make an announcement before the end of the month.

The backdrop: Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) launched their campaigns before Feinstein made her retirement announcement.

The big picture: All three are considered progressive Democrats in their own way, but now they'll have to figure out how to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded primary field.

Between the lines: Progressives have been seeking to replace Feinstein for years, hoping for generational change. The retiring senator is 89.

  • Lee, a 76-year-old anti-war icon, will face stiff competition in the progressive lane from the 49-year-old Porter.
  • Schiff, 62, announced his bid in late January and was an anti-Trump stalwart during the impeachment and Jan. 6 hearings.
  • He's already received Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi's endorsement.
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