California Democrats Decline to Endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Back More Liberal Rival Kevin de León

Sen. Dianne Feinstein tries to connect with the delegates at her state's Democratic Convention on Feb. 24, 2018, in San Diego. | Denis Poroy/AP Photo
Sen. Dianne Feinstein tries to connect with the delegates at her state’s Democratic Convention on Feb. 24, 2018, in San Diego. | Denis Poroy/AP Photo

In a sharp rebuke to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democratic Party has declined to endorse the state’s own senior senator in her bid for reelection.

Riven by conflict between progressive and more moderate forces at the state party’s annual convention here, delegates favored Feinstein’s progressive rival, state Senate leader Kevin de León, over Feinstein by a vote of 54 percent to 37 percent, according to results announced Sunday.

Neither candidate reached the 60 percent threshold required to receive the party endorsement for 2018. But the snubbing of Feinstein led de León to claim a victory for his struggling campaign.

“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. “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”

A centrist Democrat, Feinstein has long maintained an uneasy relationship with activists who dominate state party conventions, and the vote this weekend — while embarrassing — was not unexpected. The result followed two days of lobbying by the candidates in convention speeches and throughout the convention halls.

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SOURCE: DAVID SIDERS and CARLA MARINUCCI
Politico