Thursday January 17th, 2019 12:21AM

California's Feinstein to face fellow Democrat for US Senate

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein trounced a field of 31 competitors in California' primary and will face a general election challenge by a Democratic state senator who is promising generational change.

"I'm running for the United States Senate to protect California in what are difficult and contentious times," Feinstein said in a video from Washington, where she spent Tuesday's primary night.

With nearly 3 million votes counted as the day closed, Feinstein held about 44 percent. Fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon finished second with 11 percent.

The Feinstein-de Leon general election will be California's second U.S. Senate contest featuring two Democrats. In 2016, then-state attorney general Kamala Harris defeated U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

Feinstein is the heavy favorite. She's one of the most well-known politicians in California and has a sizeable war chest to communicate her message.

De Leon, the former state Senate leader, will have an uphill battle should he make it through the primary. In a sweeping speech to supporters Tuesday night, he outlined his pitch for the fall: Feinstein is too entrenched in Washington to fight for liberal interests and too old to serve another term.

She was first elected to the Senate in 1992, and at 84, Feinstein is the chamber's oldest member. She would turn 90 in her next term.

"We decided to give voters a real choice — between new ideas and the same old, same old," he declared, later adding, "this race is a fight for California's future."

Trailing de Leon was little-known Republican James Bradley, who has never held elected office and raised less than $5,000 in his campaign.

Feinstein, for her part, argues that her seniority in Washington gives her the clout to advocate effectively for California. She is the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and has considerable clout in the chamber.

She's highlighted her successful 1994 effort to ban assault weapons, which has since expired, and legislation to protect the environment as evidence that she understands Californians' priorities. She pledged in her victory statement to fight for a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour, women's reproductive rights and universal health care.

While her support is strong, some party activists have chaffed at Feinstein in recent months, particularly after she said last fall that Donald Trump "could be a good president." Activists denied her the California Democratic Party's endorsement in February, highlighting frustrations among some of the most liberal members about her interactions with Trump and stance on issues such as immigration.

De Leon sought to seize on that vulnerability by making the case that he better represents California's values in the Trump era.

Sue Regan, a 66-year-old retired psychiatrist, said she voted for de Leon because Feinstein is "too old" and too conservative on certain issues.

"Feinstein's time is up," said Regan, a registered Democrat from Sacramento. "I know that Kevin de Leon would not have the power that she has in the Senate, it would take him some time to develop that, but I think he's very liberal, and I support the causes that he does."

But Feinstein's age didn't stop 82-year-old Jay Smith, a registered Republican, from casting his vote for her.

"I went to Stanford and so did Dianne Feinstein," he said. "I don't care how old she is."


Sign up for "Politics in Focus," a weekly newsletter showcasing the AP's best political reporting from around the country leading up to the midterm elections:

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Senate Election News
© Copyright 2019
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
California's Feinstein to face fellow Democrat for US Senate
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein will face fellow Democrat in November general election
11:56AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Republican gets spot in runoff for California governor
Republican businessman John Cox will face Democrat Gavin Newsom in November in the race to become governor of California
10:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
Democrats hope for 'blue wave' push from 8-state primary day
Democrats fought to shape the political battlefield for a November 'blue wave' Tuesday in primaries across eight states
6:22AM ( 5 hours ago )
U.S. News
US stocks on track for fourth gain in a row as banks jump
US stocks are rising Wednesday as banks jump along with interest rates, putting major indexes on track for their fourth gain in arrow
12:00PM ( 6 minutes ago )
China's Huawei says it hasn't collected Facebook user data
Facebook has acknowledged it shared user data with Chinese handset manufacturers, including security-flagged Huawei in fresh wave of allegations over its handling of private data
11:52AM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Rain delay in French Open men's quarterfinals
Play is being delayed by rain during the French Open men's quarterfinals
11:44AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Contradicting Trump, Ryan agrees no evidence of campaign spy
House Speaker Paul Ryan is agreeing with another senior House Republican who says there's no evidence that the FBI planted a "spy" on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign
11:13AM ( 53 minutes ago )
Trump declares primaries delivered 'great night' for GOP
Primaries in eight states bolstered Democrats' hopes for a "blue wave" in November, but President Donald Trump tweeted that the races were a "great night" for Republicans
10:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump decries 'fake' reporting on Melania, says she's well
President Donald Trump is raging over media reports questioning the first lady's recent absence from public view, saying the press has been "so unfair, and vicious."
10:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Democrats hope for big push from 8-state primary night
Blue wave? California lurches to center of midterm fight as eight states host primary elections
12:54AM ( 11 hours ago )
Bill Clinton says 'Today' interview wasn't his 'finest hour'
Former President Bill Clinton is acknowledging that his combative response earlier this week to questions about Monica Lewinsky wasn't his "finest hour."
12:46AM ( 11 hours ago )
Newsom advances in race for California governor
The intrigue in the race to replace departing California Gov. Jerry Brown isn't who wins _ it's who comes in second
12:34AM ( 11 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Giuliani says Mueller's team is trying to frame Trump
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says special counsel Robert Mueller's team is trying to frame President Trump
10:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump congratulates Cox on 2nd place win in CA
Trump congratulates Republican John Cox on second-place finish in California's gubernatorial primary
10:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
Abe to press Trump to raise issue of abducted at Kim summit
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is heading to Washington to try to make sure President Donald Trump doesn't overlook Japan's concerns at the U.S.-North Korea summit next week
10:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trustees report warns Medicare finances worsening
Trustees report warns that Social Security and Medicare's financial problems can't be ignored forever
1:55AM ( 10 hours ago )
The Latest: Dem could be 1st Native American congresswoman
Former state Democratic Party leader Debra Haaland has won the party's nomination for a congressional seat in New Mexico as she tries to become the country's first Native American congresswoman
1:39AM ( 10 hours ago )
Key Senate Republicans seek to challenge Trump over tariffs
Leading Senate Republicans are taking the rare step of challenging the Trump administration on its effort to punish trading partners with import tariffs
12:30AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Jailed politician makes election speech via call to wife
In an unusual election campaign, Turkey's jailed pro-Kurdish politician and presidential candidate has delivered a speech from his prison cell through a telephone call to his wife and other family members _ a video of which was later broadcast on Twitter
9:24AM ( 2 hours ago )
Griffin envisions a gay president while accepting LGBT honor
Kathy Griffin says she is eagerly awaiting the day when a gay person is elected president of the United States
6:15AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: 2 Dems to Senate primary runoff in Mississippi
David Baria and Howard Sherman are headed to a June 26 runoff in Mississippi's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate
10:47PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Polls begin closing as 8 states hold primaries
Polls have begun closing in the eastern half of the United States as eight states hold primaries ahead of the November midterm elections
8:12PM ( 15 hours ago )
Blue wave? California primary could be a sign for November
Blue wave? California lurches to center of midterm fight as eight states host primary elections
8:05PM ( 16 hours ago )
Trump rallies California supporters, fighting blue wave
Blue wave? California lurches to center of midterm fight as eight states host primary elections
1:51PM ( 22 hours ago )
General Election News
The Latest: Ex-pharmaceutical chief Hugin wins GOP primary
A wealthy former biopharmaceutical executive and Marine has won New Jersey's Republican Senate primary
8:57PM ( 15 hours ago )
GOP leader McConnell cancels most of Senate's August recess
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he's canceling most of the Senate's traditional August recess
5:40PM ( 18 hours ago )
A New York Republican ex-con fights to return to Congress
A Republican ex-convict is fighting to return to Congress in New York City's only slice of Trump country, but he's also fighting his party and the president
12:22AM ( 2 days ago )
General Senate Election News
Republican gets spot in runoff for California governor
Republican businessman John Cox will face Democrat Gavin Newsom in November in the race to become governor of California
10:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
Democrats hope for 'blue wave' push from 8-state primary day
Democrats fought to shape the political battlefield for a November 'blue wave' Tuesday in primaries across eight states
6:22AM ( 5 hours ago )
Republican advances in California primary with Trump's help
California Republicans get a boost from John Cox's second-place finish in the governor's primary but can he win in November?
5:27AM ( 6 hours ago )
Spade remembered as vibrant and colorful, like her creations
Designer Kate Spade remembered as vibrant, colorful and most of all, fun _ just like her famous handbags
5:22AM ( 6 hours ago )
Judge who sentenced swimmer recalled amid #MeToo movement
California voters recall judge from office who sentenced Brock Turner to jail instead of prison for sexual assault in effort backer calls "a national reckoning" on violence against women
4:53AM ( 7 hours ago )