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The California Democratic Party on Saturday endorsed U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s challenger, highlighting the moderate lawmaker’s political disconnect with liberal activists in her home state.
The nod provides Kevin de León with a boost of momentum for his long-shot bid to unseat the 26-year-incumbent. After finishing second and 32 points behind Feinstein in the June primary, de León spent months calling more than 300 members of the party’s executive board to earn their support.
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His work paid off Saturday when 65 percent of the voting members endorsed him over Feinstein at a gathering in Oakland.
“Earning the endorsement of so many leaders and activists of the California Democratic Party isn’t just an honor and a privilege; today’s vote is a clear-eyed rejection of politics as usual in Washington, D.C.,” 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.“
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Feinstein had asked board members not to endorse either candidate. In the end, 7 percent gave her the nod anyway and 28 percent heeded her call to remain neutral.
“While 217 delegates expressed their view today, Sen. Feinstein won by 2.1 million votes and earned 70 percent of the Democratic vote in the California Primary election, carrying every county by double digits over her opponent,” said Jeff Millman, Feinstein’s campaign manager, in a statement. “We are confident that a large majority of California Democrats will vote to re-elect Sen. Feinstein in November.”
Feinstein - Campaign - Party - Unity - Focus
Feinstein’s campaign called for party unity and a focus on competitive congressional races against Republicans before the vote. Her message was echoed by several others within the party, including a half-dozen Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives that the veteran senator held a fundraiser for this week. Feinstein’s team sent out a campaign email Saturday afternoon touting her endorsements from...
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