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Barbara Lee adds Bernie Sanders political staff to growing campaign team

OAKLAND, CA — Two members of the Bernie Sanders for President 2020 team have joined Barbara Lee’s campaign for Senate, the Lee campaign announced today. Robert Dempsey and Anna Bahr, who served as National States Director and Deputy National Press Secretary for the Sanders presidential campaign in 2020, respectively, are joining the Lee campaign as Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor.

“My message in this race is simple: working people deserve a progressive fighter who will fix an economy that is rigged against the middle class and the poor, prioritize climate, racial and economic justice and truly represent the chronically overlooked working people of the Golden State,” said Congresswoman Lee “There is a strong progressive movement in California that Sen. Sanders mobilized successfully, and we are building on the grassroots movement he energized to connect with Californians about the issues that matter most to them.” 

Dempsey and Bahr join a campaign team that already includes Katie Merrill as General Consultant, Jack Lofgren as National Finance Director, David Graham-Caso as Communications Director, Julianna Ridgeway as Digital Director, Sean Dugar as Political Director, Chris Keosian as Scheduling Director, Julio Esperias as Los Angeles Oranizer and Denisha DeLane as Faith Community Outreach Director. The campaign team also includes media consultants Raghu Devaguptapu and Orrin Evans at Left Hook Consulting, as well as a polling and research team made up of Dave Metz of FM3, Shakari Byerly of Evitarus, and Terrance Woodbury of HIT Strategies. 

Lee’s campaign for Senate is building on growing momentum, earning the support of influential leaders and organizations, including the Working Families Party, Gen Z for Change, and five of the eight statewide constitutional officers in California – Attorney General Rob Bonta, Treasurer Fiona Ma, Controller Malia Cohen, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

Other national and California endorsers of Lee’s campaign include Congressmembers Jamaal Bowman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steven Horsford, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Troy Carter, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Nikema Williams, Jim Clyburn, Bennie Thompson, Lucy McBath, Terri Sewell, and Gregory Meeks, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Cedric Richmond, former Georgia General Assembly House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, State Senators Susan Talamantes Eggman, Anna Caballero and Nancy Skinner, Assemblymembers Isaac Bryan, Mia Bonta and Corey Jackson, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, San Diego Board of Supervisors Chair Nora Vargas, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran, Redlands Mayor Eddie Tejeda, Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson, former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Palm Desert Mayor Pro Tem Karina Quintanilla, Dolores Huerta, California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus Chair Deepa Sharma, California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Chair Emeritus Amar Shergill, California Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus Co-Chair Emeritus Tiffany Woods. 

Lee also has the backing of the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council, the California Legislative Black Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, Feminist Majority PAC, Black Women Organized for Political Action PAC, Higher Heights for America, and the San Diego County Young Democrats. 

There are currently no Black women serving in the U.S. Senate. Since 1789, when the first Congress met, only two African-American women have been in the Senate, serving a total of 10 years.