By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Rep. Barbara Lee plans to run for the Senate, a decision that comes despite fellow Democrat and incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein having yet to announce her intentions.
According to Politico, the 76-year-old Lee has told her colleagues in a closed-door Congressional Black Caucus meeting.
Asked later about her plans, Lee said in a brief interview she’d officially announce, “when it’s appropriate.”
“Right now, in respect to [Sen.] 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,” she said, according to Politico.
Lee’s office didn’t return messages from the Black Press.
However, Politico reported that Lee declined to say whether she’d run against 89-year-old Feinstein if the California senator chose to run again rather than retire.
“I’m not really doing anything except letting colleagues know that there’ll be a time to talk about the Senate race,” she said.
Lee’s decision to run comes a day after Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) also announced a bid for the seat currently held by Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Politico further noted that Lee was widely seen as leading the list of potential Feinstein replacements if she were to retire early and Gov. Gavin Newsom were to choose a successor, though there’s no indication Feinstein would do so.
The outlet reported that the governor vetted Lee when then-Sen. Kamala Harris departed for the vice presidency, and he publicly committed to choosing a Black woman if he had the chance to make another appointment.
Some other House members had emerged as potential contenders, but Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) isn’t expected to seek the seat. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has said he would defer a decision for a few months.