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89-Year-Old Dem Senator Plans to Finish Her Term, No Answer on 2024 Yet

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP

It's no secret that there have been concerns about Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) mental health and capacity, even and including among her fellow Democrats. Yet Feinstein will intends to serve out her term, she told The Los Angeles Times on Monday, as was covered in a report by Nolan D. McCaskill. 


When asked about finishing her term, Feinstein was firm. "Yes. Absolutely," she said, adding "there's still two years, you know. A lot can happen in two years."

Stunningly, Feinstein even didn't rule out running again in 2024, adding that that decision will come "probably by spring," which was confirmed by a spokesperson. "The senator has no plans to step down and will announce her plans for 2024 at the appropriate time," the spokesperson said. 

"Feinstein never suggested she might leave her seat early, but pressure from many in her own party grew steadily after her 2018 reelection," McCaskill mentioned. So certain were some that Feinstein wouldn't be able to finish out her term, however, that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has been asked and openly talked about appointing a black woman to replace her, though he later claimed he didn't expect her to retire early. 

Fellow Democrats have complained about Feinstein before, and not merely due to her age. 

While Democrats won control of the Senate following the 2020 election, Feinstein did not end up chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, despite having served as the ranking member previously. That position instead went to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). There were complaints that Feinstein was far too kind to now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett during her Supreme Court confirmation process, and that she gave Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), then the chairman, a hug. 


In the 2018 primary, Feinstein managed to earn earning 44.2 percent of the vote in the primary, and then won by 54.2 percent in the general election. This was despite not being endorsed by the California Democratic Party that year, which instead endorsed her opponent, state Sen. Kevin de León, also a Democrat.  

Come November 2024, Feinstein will be 91-years-old. She's already the oldest sitting senator, having three months on Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who just won reelection last month. She's served since 1992, after winning a special election.

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