Silicon Valley executive Lexi Reese drops out of U.S. Senate race

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Silicon Valley executive Lexi Reese dropped out of California’s U.S. Senate race, citing fundraising difficulties and an inability to gain traction among state voters.

Reese participated in the California Democratic Party’s endorsement process and spoke to attendees in Sacramento just before Thanksgiving. But she won only the support of three delegate votes out of the 2,322 cast, leaving her far behind Democratic members of the House Katie Porter (D-Irvine), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).

Her appearance at the convention’s Senate forum was a finale of sorts for her campaign. Protesters angry over Israel invasion of Gaza disrupted her speech and she struggled to continue.

“While the financial reality of the Senate run has prompted me to stop competing for this seat, we will continue to focus on this question: What do we want to be when we grow up? As a State, a Nation, and as Human Beings,” Reese said in a written statement.

“I got into this race to build a safer world for our kids. I feel stronger than ever that we need to think in a much bigger, bolder way about how we make life liveable.”

The 48-year-old previously worked at Google, Facebook and American Express but had never run for office. When she first jumped into the race, Reese declined to disclose her net worth, saying she did not want to give an inaccurate number, but added she could not self-fund her campaign even though she planned to invest a “significant” amount in her run.

Reese gave her campaign about $530,000 and raised an additional $1.28 million in contributions, according to federal disclosures available through the end of September. She said in a statement Monday that she had raised a total of $2 million, which was far less than her competitors. She also never gained traction in public opinion polls.

In her statement announcing the end of her campaign, Reese advocated enacting term limits as one way to diversify the backgrounds of the people who serve in Congress.

“We need open seats and campaign finance reform so the cost to enter is not insurmountable for most people,”
Reese said in a written statement. “My husband and I self-funded $500,000 of our campaign, which is a privilege I recognize most people do not have. It was also not nearly enough.”

Times staff writer Seema Mehta contributed to this report.

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