Sen. Dianne Feinstein to face fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon for US Senate

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U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein will face fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon in the U.S. Senate race in November. (Mark J. Terrill/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein will face fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon in the U.S. Senate race in November.
Feinstein trounced a field of 31 competitors in California' primary. With nearly 3 million votes counted as Election Day closed, Feinstein held about 44 percent. 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.

MORE: Sen. Dianne Feinstein advances in California primary

Feinstein, a 26-year incumbent, is a heavy favorite. She points to her seniority on key committees and track record of fighting for gun control and protecting the environment as evidence she deserves another term.

"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.

MORE: California primary election results

De Leon, the former state Senate leader, has an uphill battle ahead of him. 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.

"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."

De Leon authored the "sanctuary state" bill to protect immigrants living in the country illegally and has also promoted clean energy initiatives.

Feinstein, 84, would be one of the oldest Senators to ever serve if she is re-elected. She was first elected to the Senate in 1992.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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politicscalifornia state senatesenatepoliticsprimary electionCalifornia
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