Home>Articles>Rep. Barbara Lee Files Federal Paperwork For 2024 Senate Run

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-13) addressing the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, June 1, 2019. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Rep. Barbara Lee Files Federal Paperwork For 2024 Senate Run

Lee to make official announcement by the end of the month

By Evan Symon, February 16, 2023 2:30 am

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) filed federal paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, inching closer to officially announcing a run.

Lee, who has been in the House of Representatives since 1998 representing the Oakland area, following several years in the state Assembly and Senate, has been under intense speculation to run since January. Last month, she reportedly told colleagues that she would be running for the Senate shortly after Congresswoman Katie Porter’s Senate run announcement. Since then she has been often included on the list of official candidates along with Porter and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) despite having no official campaign up and running.

“I’ll officially announce when it’s appropriate,” said Lee last month. “Right now, in respect to Dianne Feinstein and the floods and what I’m doing, I’m doing my work. And we’ll let them know when I intend to go to the next step. But now’s the time not to talk about that. I’m not really doing anything except letting colleagues know that there’ll be a time to talk about the Senate race.”

With issues surrounding the floods being sorted and Feinstein announcing on Tuesday that she would not be running in 2024, Lee was officially clear of hurdles, filing within 24 hours of Feinstein’s announcement. When she announces, she will be the first black candidate to enter the race, as well as the oldest at age 76. She will also be the first candidate from Northern California, as Porter is from Orange County and Schiff is from Los Angeles.

The three-candidate primary is also likely to get more crowded in the coming months as other candidates, free from running against Feinstein, are likely to file. While there has yet to be any official announcement on if they will or won’t run for Senate next year, often chided candidates include San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA), Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and Governor Gavin Newsom.

As for Lee, her filing and all but certain announcement will bring a host of positives and negatives to the 2024 race.

“Well, her entering the race will break up the Porter v. Schiff showdown people have been speculating on for sometime,” explained Bay Area pollster Jessica Yang to the Globe on Wednesday. “A lot of people want a person of color as a candidate, especially in heavily African-American Oakland, and they’ll have that candidate through Lee. She also has decades of experience and could get a lot of lefter-leaning to vote for her.

“But there’s a lot of drawbacks too. First, her age. She’ll be in her late 70s if she wins, so she would likely only be a one term Senator. A lot of people likely won’t vote for her based on that. They want longevity and more youthful ideas, and both Porter and Schiff can carry that. She’s also too extreme for some. She was close with the Black Panthers early in her career and she has proven to be far left even by Bay standards. She voted against military force to be used in the days after 9/11 and was the only one to do so. People understand not voting on Iraq or other actions, especially in hindsight, but not that.”

“So it’s good that we have more candidates in the race to help pick apart their arguments, but it will be hard for her to ultimately win, especially if a fourth big candidate enters.”

Lee’s official announcement on running for Senate is due later this month.

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Evan Symon
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4 thoughts on “Rep. Barbara Lee Files Federal Paperwork For 2024 Senate Run

  1. Democrat U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a radical leftist and a racist who was associated with the Black Panthers. What is she going to run on? Reparations and black supremacy?

  2. Was Congresswoman Barbara Lee at least honest enough to mark her political party as “Communist?” I haven’t checked, but I suspect she has not.

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