Rep. Barbara Lee endorses Rep. Adam B. Schiff for Senate and gets some fundraising help

Former rivals are working together again.

After nearly a year of running against each another in California’s Senate race, Rep. Adam Schiff appeared alongside Rep. Barbara Lee at a Washington fundraiser partially to help the Oakland congresswoman raise money for “debt retirement purposes,” according to a copy of the invite obtained by The Times.

The event came the same day Lee announced her endorsement of Schiff in his head-to-head contest this November against former baseball player Steve Garvey. Lee finished in a distant fourth place in the March 5 primary.

“Now more than ever, we need to elect people like Adam Schiff, who will stand up against the autocrats looking to divide this country and dismantle our democracy,” Lee said in a news release announcing the endorsement.

“For decades in Congress, I’ve worked alongside Adam to deliver for Californians. I’m honored to endorse him for the United States Senate,” Lee said.

Schiff and Lee have known each other nearly 30 years, serving together in the state Legislature and Congress.

Along with fellow Democrat Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine, the three members of Congress vied to succeed Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who announced early in 2023 that she wouldn’t run for another term and died in autumn.

While Porter launched political attacks against Schiff, the front-runner, throughout the campaign, Lee mostly stayed above the fray, rarely singling out her opponents by name.

“I’m so grateful for her support in this race,” Schiff said in a statement.

Garvey, a Republican, avoided taking positions on many of the most pressing issues and sidestepped questions about whether he would vote for Donald Trump in November. The former athlete consolidated the California’s Republican vote in the primary, while support from Democratic voters splintered among Schiff, Porter and Lee.

Garvey finished first in the March primary with 33% of the vote. Schiff came in second with 29%, followed by Porter with 17% and Lee with 11%

“Californians loudly rejected Barbara Lee’s pro-Hamas, pro-criminal agenda in the primary and I look forward to seeing them reject Adam Schiff and this agenda in November,” Garvey said in a statement.

The fundraiser Wednesday morning was held at Washington D.C.’s National Democratic Club, according to the invite. The event was billed as “a breakfast reception honoring Congresswoman Barbara Lee in recognition for a career of devoted service featuring special guest Congressman Adam Schiff.”

The invite asked for donations from political action committees of up to $5,000 and up to $1,000 from individuals. Federal Election Commission records show that from the start of 2023 through the end of March 2024, Lee’s senate campaign raised $5.4 million. The campaign ended March with $330,330.37 cash on hand and $291,357.95 debts or loans owed.

“They have worked together for decades and hosted a fundraiser together to close out the campaign and prepare for what’s next, which includes keeping Joe Biden in the White House and electing a House and Senate he can work with this November,” Robert Dempsey, Lee’s former campaign manager, said in a statement.

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