Pramila Jayapal and Barbara Lee

Congressional Progressive Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) walks ahead of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) after leaving the White House in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 2021.

(Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Progressive Caucus Chair Jayapal Endorses 'Champion for Justice' Barbara Lee for US Senate

"I know she'll fight for our shared progressive values in the U.S. Senate," Rep. Pramila Jayapal said of the California congresswoman.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal on Monday endorsed Rep. Barbara Lee in California's 2024 U.S. Senate race, calling the East Bay Democratic congresswoman "a champion for justice who has been a persistent progressive voice" in the House.

"As a woman of color, I know representation matters and I'm excited for Barbara to bring her voice and her lived experience as a Black woman to the chamber so all of us can have a seat at the table," Jayapal (D-Wash.) said in a statement. There are currently no Black women serving in the Senate.

"I know she'll fight for our shared progressive values in the U.S. Senate," Jayapal added.

In response to the endorsement, Lee said that she is "so grateful to have earned the trust and support of Congresswoman Jayapal."

"She is one of the strongest voices for justice in Congress and it's been my honor to fight alongside her for a more progressive future for all," Lee added. "I'm running this campaign to bring this fight to the U.S. Senate and on day one, I'm ready to use my experience and record of results to move California and our country forward."

Lee—who in 2001 was the only member of Congress to vote against authorizing the ongoing War on Terror—is widely viewed as the most progressive candidate running for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who says this will be her last term. Feinstein has faced growing calls to step down, with numerous commentators noting that the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which she sits, has been unable to confirm President Joe Biden's judicial nominees because the 89-year-old five-term lawmaker has missed dozens of votes.

Jayapal picked Lee over Congressional Progressive Caucus colleague Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.)—whose only major endorsement thus far is from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), her former law school professor—and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

Schiff's endorsements include former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and 19 other California congressional Democrats.

Lee, meanwhile, is backed by a wide range of Democrats, including progressive Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)—who will co-chair Lee's campaign. Lee is also endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, both Democrats.

"Rep. Barbara Lee has a unique perspective that is different from any other member of the U.S. Senate," Breed said Saturday at the launch of "United for Barbara Lee" in San Francisco. "California needs Barbara Lee and so does the nation."

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