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Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee to launch California Senate bid later this month: report


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Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., will announce later this month she is running for U.S. Senate in California to replace fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, according to a new report.

Lee, whose political career began in the California State Assembly in 1990, will launch her campaign to become the Golden State's next U.S. senator by the end of February, according to a report from The Washington Post.

The timing of the move from Lee, according to a source the Post says is familiar with her plans, will come in accordance with Black History Month.

Lee, who has represented three of California's Congressional Districts in the House since 1998, told the outlet, "Currently, there are no Black women in the U.S. Senate, and there have only been two in our almost 250-year history. Our voices are sorely missed in the Senate.


"My lived experience as a Black woman making true progressive change for Californians will give a voice in the U.S. to those who are currently voiceless."

Lee's campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital about her plans for 2024.

Last month, Lee reportedly told her colleagues who serve on the Congressional Black Caucus she intended to run for Senate.

Other Democrats have also announced their intentions to seek the seat held by Feinstein in 2024, including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., who both announced their bids for the Senate last month.

Those announcements come as Feinstein, who has represented California in the Senate since 1992 and is the oldest serving senator at age 89, has yet to announce whether she will seek re-election in 2024. From October to December 2022, filings from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) revealed Feinstein raised a mere $558.91.


Should she announce her candidacy in the race, Lee could face an uphill battle when it comes to fundraising.

Porter, a progressive rising star and former pupil of Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, raised a whopping $25 million in political donations last cycle, making her the second-highest fundraising House member behind House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Porter's fundraising total even beat out that of her boss, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a renowned fundraiser in her own right.

Similarly, Schiff was the fourth-highest fundraising member of the House among members up for re-election last year, taking in just over $23 million from 2021 through November 2022. 

Despite attempts to position herself as a progressive "warrior," Porter and her political ambitions may be impeded by accusations of racist remarks and promoting a toxic work culture.

An ex-staffer for the California Democrat alleged that the congresswoman had made rude and racist comments to staff and said that she had "ridiculed people for reporting sexual harassment." The accusations came to light in December, but the news was mostly ignored by major news outlets.

Schiff, a figurehead of the impeachment investigations into former President Trump, faces his own share of intra-party backlash. A progressive group attacked the congressman for his record on Trump only hours after Schiff announced his run for U.S. Senate.

"Adam Schiff plays the role of Trump antagonist on TV, but a recent book details how he stalled and undermined leaders trying to hold Trump accountable in Congress. And he never challenges corporations or the Democratic establishment," Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), said Thursday in a statement.

Fox News' Sophia Slacik contributed to this article.

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