Sen. Dianne Feinstein is seeking a sixth term representing California but she’s now in the race without the support of the state’s Democratic Party, which declined to endorse her re-election bid over the weekend.
Instead, delegates at the party’s annual convention gave the majority of votes—54 percent—to progressive state Sen. Kevin de Leon, her main primary challenger. Feinstein only recently 37 percent of the vote. The state party will not officially endorse either candidate, however, since both failed to meet the 60 percent threshold.
“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,” said de Leon, reports Politico. “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”
The vote came after Mr. de León, who has been running an insurgent campaign, delivered a blistering speech that reflects deep divisions among Democrats here — and across the nation — about how to respond to President Trump. Mr. de León questioned, among other things, remarks Ms. Feinstein had made that were interpreted by many Democratic activists here as sympathetic to Mr. Trump, and suggested she was too conventional in taking on the White House.
“The days of Democrats biding our time, biting our tongue, and triangulating at the margins are over,” he said.
His speech also reflected a feeling among many Democrats, particularly younger ones, that it is time for the old guard of Democratic leaders here to step aside. (NYT)
“California’s greatness comes from acts of human audacity, not congressional seniority,” de León said.
At 84, Feinstein is the oldest member of the Senate.
Despite Saturday’s setback, she is ahead of de Leon in the primary race by 29 percentage points, the latest polling of the race shows.