During the California Democratic Party's annual convention this week, delegates voted on who to endorse during the primary.
Things were shaken up when Sen. Dianne Feinstein's primary opponent, progressive state Senate leader Kevin de León, won 54 percent of the vote, POLITICO reported. Feinstein came in with just 37 percent of the vote.
Although neither candidate secured the 60 percent voted needed to secure an endorsement, de León is chalking the results up to a victory.
“The outcome of today’s endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and it boosts our campaign’s momentum as we all stand shoulder-to-shoulder against a complacent status quo,” de León said in a prepared statement, POLITICO reported. “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”
Throughout the convention, de León painted Feinstein as an out-of-touch politician who is no longer in line with the Democratic Party's values.
“Real leadership, moral clarity, is always doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. It should never take a primary challenge for California’s leadership to stand up for California values,” de León said, The Sacramento Bee reported. “I’m running because California’s greatness comes from acts of human audacity, not congressional seniority. Who do you trust to have the courage of your convictions?”
De León took to Twitter towards the end of the convention to explain why he's running for Senate:
I am running for the United States Senate because the days of Democrats biding our time, biting our tongue, and triangulating at the margins are over. #CAdem— Kevin de Le?n (@kdeleon) February 25, 2018
It has been my greatest honor to lead the California State Senate, where we built California’s prosperity while passing the most progressive laws in America. Now let’s take CA values to DC.— Kevin de Le?n (@kdeleon) February 25, 2018
I will be your voice in Washington, and you will never have to wonder whether I will represent your interests and California values.— Kevin de Le?n (@kdeleon) February 25, 2018
We have carved it in stone: no matter the place of your birth or the hue of your skin, or who you love, you can live in California in safety, dignity and, yes, sanctuary.— Kevin de Le?n (@kdeleon) February 25, 2018
.@realDonaldTrump has effectively declared war on California. He mocks our inclusivity, and demonizes our diversity. I have forcefully defended California values and won - and I’m ready to bring our fight to his doorstep.— Kevin de Le?n (@kdeleon) February 25, 2018
About Feinstein's Opponent
Kevin de León, 51, is currently serving as the President pro tempore in the California State Senate, where he represents the 24th Senate district, which surrounds Downtown and East Los Angeles. He was elected to the Senate in 2010. Prior to serving in the Senate, de León served four years in the State Assembly.
De León is most known for his community organizing role against California's Proposition 187, a 1994 ballot initiative that would establish citizenship screening and prohibit illegal aliens from utilizing services provided by the State of California, such as non-emergency health care and public education.
Proposition 187 eventually passed with a 58 percent vote.
De León is also a strong proponent protecting illegal aliens. He was able to get Senate Bill 54 passed. SB 54 prohibits law enforcement agencies from using their resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes. The bill also directs California's Attorney General to make sure public schools, libraries, hospitals and courthouses and limiting how much they assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.