Prominent Black Women Have Their Eyes Set On Open Senate Seats

Prominent Black Women Have Their Eyes Set On Open Senate Seats

In its 233-year history, the U.S. Senate has only ever sworn in two Black women: Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois and Kamala Harris of California.

While Black women have made many contributions to this country, only eight Black women have secured major-party nominations out of 64 Black women who have run for the Senate since 2010, The New York Times reported. The lack of representation in the Senate has proven stark even before Vice President Harris departed from her seat in 2021.

Over the past two decades, the number of Black women candidates for the U.S. Senate has increased, and Black women have made tremendous gains overall. With the swearing-in of Jennifer McClellan as the first Black woman to represent Virginia in March, the House now has 28 Black women in its ranks, but the Senate has none. But there’s a chance that could change for the better in 2024.

State representatives Barbara Lee, Angela Alsobrooks, and Lisa Blunt Rochester are three prominent Black women politicians who have launched or are likely to launch U.S. Senate bids in 2024.

Barbara Lee

Rep. Barbara Lee, who is running to become the second Black woman senator from California, proudly launched her bid during Black History Month. She has officially entered the primary after California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, the oldest serving senator, announced that she will not seek re-election in 2024.

The race for the California seat among Democrats is predicted to be one of the most expensive, competitive, and crowded in the election cycle. Many prominent politicians, including Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter have already launched campaigns for the seat. And yet Lee remains undeterred.

“Our voices are sorely missed in the Senate,” Lee said, according to a previous statement. “My lived experience as a Black woman making true progressive change for Californians will give a voice in the U.S. to those who are currently voiceless.”

Lee is serving her 13th term in the House with a resilient story and political background. She is running for the Senate seat to find real solutions to homelessness, poverty, climate crisis, human rights, and more.

Angela Alsobrooks

Angela Alsobrooks’ bid for Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat would make her the first Black woman elected statewide in Maryland and just the second woman senator from the state. A former state’s attorney and current Prince George’s county executive, Alsobrooks has joined a competitive Democratic primary to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, The American Independent reported.

The lifelong Marylander is running for the Senate to fight to create jobs, bring down the cost of living, improve the healthcare system, and strengthen kids’ education. Under her tenure, violent crime dropped by 50%, and she established a first-of-its-kind unit to investigate and prosecute police and official misconduct.

Alsobrooks explained to voters in her announcement video, “Look, I get it. There aren’t a lot of people like me in the U.S. Senate. People who live like, who think like, and who look like the people they are supposed to represent.”

Lisa Blunt Rochester

Proudly serving Delaware, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester is among the top contenders for the Senate seat in 2024. She has not yet launched a bid for the race, but she is receiving tremendous support from retiring Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), according to Axios.

Forbes reported that due to Rochester’s endorsements, she would not need to win over a new electorate in her potential bid. If elected, she would be Delaware’s first Black and female senator.

Currently, Blunt Rochester serves as an Assistant Whip for House Leadership. She also sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Her focus is on the economy and the future of work-related issues, reducing the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs for middle-class families, and more.