Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on Tuesday officially tossed her hat into the race for retiring Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat.
In January Lee had hinted to fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that she would be announcing her candidacy sometime in the near future—”when it’s appropriate,” she had said.
Feinstein announced on February 14 that she’d be retiring at the end of her sixth term in 2024.
Lee joins a race already occupied by Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, who announced his run on January 26, and Katie Porter, who announced hers on January 10.
The trio are expected to be joined by several more California Democrats, including Reps. Eric Swalwell and Ro Khanna.
The 76-year-old former Chair of the CBC and currently Co-Chair of the Policy and Steering Committee, Lee is the highest-ranking Black woman appointed to Democratic leadership in the House. She also serves on the House Budget Committee and the Appropriations Committee, which oversees all federal government spending.
In her announcement video, she highlighted the racism she fought against in her youth and the struggles she faced as a single mother and as a survivor of domestic violence.
In 2001, Lee was the only member of Congress to oppose broad military authorization following 9/11. She remains a leading antiwar voice in Congress.
In an interview, 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.