Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has thrown his support behind Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) in the California Senate race, breaking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The endorsement is a major boost for Lee, who is running to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Pelosi had previously endorsed California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the race.
Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, is a powerful figure in the party and his endorsement could help Lee gain traction in the crowded field of candidates.
In a statement, Clyburn said he was proud to endorse Lee, citing her “long record of fighting for progressive values and her commitment to working families.”
The endorsement is a sign of the growing rift between Pelosi and Clyburn, who have had a strained relationship in recent years. It also highlights the importance of the California Senate race, which could determine the balance of power in the Senate.
With Clyburn’s endorsement, Lee is now in a strong position to make a run for the Senate seat. It remains to be seen if Pelosi will continue to back Harris or if she will switch her support to Lee.