Rep. Barbara Lee of California told her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus during a closed-door meeting Wednesday that she plans to run for the Senate, multiple sources told CNN.
This comes a day after Rep. Katie Porter of California announced a 2024 Senate bid, launching her campaign for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in what could be a crowded Democratic primary.
One source close to Lee told CNN she has no intention of announcing her run right now amid the storms in California, as well as out of respect for Feinstein, but she plans to run. Politico first reported Lee’s comments to the CBC at a closed-door meeting.
The 89-year-old Feinstein, a member of the Senate since 1992, has not yet made public her own plans for 2024. However, many Democrats believe she is likely to retire rather than seek a sixth full term.
If Feinstein were to retire, it would likely set off a crowded scramble for the high-profile Senate seat in the country’s most populous state.
Other potential contenders include Rep. Adam Schiff, Lt. Gov Eleni Kounalakis, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, a former longtime member of Congress.
Feinstein has filed 2024 reelection paperwork with the FEC but has faced criticism recently about her fitness for the job. She rejected those suggestions, telling CNN last year that she feels “absolutely” able to serve fully in her position, adding: “I think that’s pretty obvious.”