CA Democratic Party snubs Dianne Feinstein in favor of Kevin de Leon. Now what?

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
What endorsement from CA Democrats means for Kevin de Leon
The California Democratic Party voted over the weekend to endorse State Senator Kevin de Leon over incumbent Dianne Feinstein.

There are stunning developments in the US Senate race in California as state Democrats snubbed longtime Senator Dianne Feinstein in favor of endorsing liberal rival Kevin de Leon for November's election.

De Leon has a long fight ahead, but for voters who have tuned out the race, they tend to follow the lead of the state party.

With a major victory in the June primary, well ahead on fundraising and in the polls, it seemed 26-year incumbent Dianne Feinstein was on her way to another term to the US Senate, but the executive board of the California Democratic Party voted over the weekend to endorse State Senator Kevin de Leon.

"We both campaigned hard and they gave me the overwhelming support, 65 percent to 7 percent," de Leon said. "So, this is a big boost to our campaign without a doubt."

With an endorsement, comes money. De Leon will also appear on the party's slate card and mailers.

In the last campaign finance report, Feinstein had $7 million in the bank, compared with de Leon who had under $700,000.

"In the past 24 hours, we've already raised about $50,000 just online," de Leon said. "It's an incredible honor."

In response to the endorsement, Feinstein's campaign manager, Jeff Millman, told Eyewitness News in a statement:

"While 217 delegates expressed their view on Saturday, Senator 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. We are confident that a large majority of California Democrats will vote to re-elect Senator Feinstein in November."

In a Survey USA poll conducted in late June, Feinstein led de Leon by 22 points, 46 percent to 24 percent, and 31 percent of those polled were undecided.

De Leon won't just get a blank check from the state party. Because the Senate race is a Democrat versus a Democrat, it is not a top priority for the California Democratic Party.