By: Travis Penniall
On Sunday, the California Democratic Party voted 54 percent to 37 percent in favor of endorsing Kevin de Leon, the current leader of the state Senate, rather than Dianne Feinstein, the state’s five-term incumbent Democratic senator. However, de León did not receive the endorsement either, as party bylaws require that a candidate receive 60 percent of the vote in order to be officially endorsed by the party. 5 percent of the vote went to another candidate, Pat Harris, and 3 percent voted to make no endorsement in the race.
Feinstein has long had a tenuous relationship with progressive activists. When she first ran for governor in 1990, she was booed for stating her support for the death penalty. Last year, she was shunned at two separate events for her opposition to implementing a single-payer healthcare system and for stating that Donald Trump could be “a good president”. Her failing to receive the endorsement of the state party just serves as another example of this.
Feinstein still retains a large lead over de León in polls and in cash, beating him 46 percent to 17 percent in the most recent poll (conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California) and having nearly $10 million on hand compared to de León’s meager $359,261. Alison Hartson, another Democratic candidate and the former national director of WOLFPAC, has received the most small-dollar donations so far.