Feinstein Loses State Party Endorsement to Kevin de León

Sen. Dianne Feinstein / Getty Images
July 15, 2018

Sen. Dianne Feinsten (D., Calif.) lost the California Democratic Party’s endorsement for her reelection to the Senate on Saturday. The fifth-term senator lost to state Sen. Kevin de León.

The vote was expected to be close, according to The Intercept, but de León secured the endorsement by receiving 65 percent of the vote, surpassing the 60 percent threshold needed to secure the party's endorsement. Feinstein only received 7 percent of the vote while 28 percent voted for no endorsement.

The vote was decided by 333 executive board members.

Feinstein had urged state party officials for weeks to vote "no endorsement" as a gesture of party unity.

Back in the open primary in June, Feinstein won 44 percent of the vote while de León won 12 percent. Because of California's election laws, the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, face off with each other in the general election. The state party's endorsement of de León gives his campaign a much needed boost as he was trailing in recent polls.

"The nation’s most accomplished Democratic Party is leading the call for a new generation of leadership who will fight to advance a bold agenda," de León said in a statement. "We have presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out Washington playbook in a quarter-century."

Feinstein has faced growing opposition from progressive activists, which has forced her to change positions on several issues like on the death penalty and cannabis legalization.

Before the open primary, Feinstein also failed to secure the party's endorsement at the party's state convention. She also did not receive the endorsement of liberal billionaire and prominent impeach-President-Donald-Trump activist Tom Steyer.

"It shows that California Democrats expect our legislators to stand up for progressive values on issues from climate change to immigration to judicial nominees," David Atkins, a writer and regional director for Santa Barbara County said. "We know that de León will do the right thing and be a leader on the issues that matter to Californians."