(Headline USA) With the questionable announcement of long-serving Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s retirement in 2024, a California senate race featuring at least three heavy-hitting Democrat lawmakers is shaping up.
It now seems poised to pit one of the party’s most notorious rising stars against one of its foremost platform priorities—identity politics—and call into question how great the Left’s commitment truly is to empowering long-marginalized black women.
U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee filed federal paperwork Wednesday to enter the race for the California seat held by Feinstein, alongside Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter.
Schiff, a former member of the influential House Intelligence Committee who led the two efforts to impeach former President Donald Trump, has already been endorsed by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Though Lee has not made a formal announcement, her entry into the contest is widely expected. She filed paperwork creating a Senate fundraising committee one day after Feinstein—at 89 the oldest member of Congress—announced she would step down after her term ends next year.
Lee “is filing preparatory paperwork and her announcement will come before the end of the month,” spokeswoman Katie Merrill said.
Lee, 76, is perhaps best known for being the only member of Congress to vote against the authorization for the use of military force after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
She is the highest-ranking black woman appointed to the House Democratic leadership, serving as co-chair of the Policy and Steering Committee.
She has long been on outspoken defender of abortion. In 2021, she was one of several members of Congress who shared personal testimony about their own abortions during a congressional hearing.
Lee became pregnant at age 16 in the mid-1960s. Abortion in California was illegal at the time, so a family friend helped send her to a “back-alley clinic in Mexico,” she said at the time.
She had no ill effects from the procedure, but she said many other women weren’t so lucky in that era.
“In the 1960s, unsafe septic abortions were the primary killer—primary killer—of African American women,” Lee said.
A Live Action article published in January 2021 noted that, in spite of the deadly toll of the coronavirus, abortion remained the leading overall cause of death globally in the year 2020, with some 42.7 million preborn infants killed.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press