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Politics & Policy

Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee Eyes Feinstein’s Senate Seat

Written by Annie GausPublished Jan. 11, 2023 • 12:00pm
Congresswoman Barbara Lee speaks onstage at Civic Center Plaza during the Women's March San Francisco on Jan. 19, 2019. | Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images

The field of potential candidates to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein is growing, with East Bay Rep. Barbara reportedly telling colleagues she plans to run for the seat. 

Just yesterday, Orange County Rep. Katie Porter publicly declared her bid for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in a video posted to Twitter. Lee, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1998, told congressional colleagues she plans to run as well, according to Politico.

Lee represents California’s 12th District, newly reapportioned from the former 13th District, both centered on Alameda County. Lee is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and is chair emeritus of the Progressive Caucus. 

She gained national attention in 2001 as the only member to stand in opposition to the 2001 military force authorization for action against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, calling it a “blank check” for unlimited military deployments without oversight. 

While controversial at the time, Lee’s opposition to the measure proved prescient as others eventually came to criticize the so-called “Forever Wars” in the Middle East. 

Lee joins Porter and Reps. Adam Schiff of Burbank and Ro Khanna of Fremont as possible candidates to succeed or run against the 89-year old Feinstein, who has not declared her intentions for 2024. She confirmed in December that she will serve out the remainder of her term. 

Annie Gaus can be reached at

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