Report: Left-Wing Challenger Will Run Against Dianne Feinstein

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will get a left-wing challenge from a rising Democratic star.

According to CNN, California Senate President Kevin de Leon (D) will run for the Senate, pitting him against the longtime senator in an all-party primary.

De Leon has been mulling a run for a while, and has received a lot of encouragement from progressives who are fed up with Feinstein’s relatively moderate positions — and how blandly she’s talked about much of President Trump’s actions.

His run could set up the first serious left-wing challenge of a sitting Democrat in recent memory. Feinstein, 84, recently announced she’d run for reelection. But California’s unique all-party primary system could make her hard to defeat. The top two vote-getters in a primary advance to the general election, and if two Democrats advance — a real possibility — Feinstein could draw Republican votes.

The race will likely be defined generationally — de Leon is 50 — as well as geographically and racially, as the Latino de Leon is Los Angeles-based in a state where northern Californians like Feinstein have long dominated politics.

He’s not the only one looking at a bid: Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is also rumored to be mulling a run, though Steyer did so two years ago before deciding not to challenge now-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron Joseph is Talking Points Memo's senior political correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He covers Capitol Hill, the White House and the permanent campaign. Previous publications include the New York Daily News, Mashable, The Hill and National Journal. He grew up near Chicago and is an irrationally passionate Cubs fan.
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