BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) _ Democratic state Sen. Barbara Lee, a former chief of staff to retiring Rep. Ron Dellums, will succeed him in Congress after easily winning a special election Tuesday.

With 477 of 485 precincts reporting, Ms. Lee had 30,515 votes, or 67 percent, to beat three rivals. Ms. Lee, 53, needed a majority to avoid a runoff.

The 9th Congressional District includes parts of Oakland and Berkeley.

``I want you to know the 9th Congressional District is going to continue to be the most progressive district in the United States,'' Ms. Lee told supporters.

Dellums, 62, a liberal Democrat whose politics were rooted in the anti-war protests of the '60s, began his political career in 1971. He announced his resignation in December, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.