[Ed. – Feinstein’s opponent in November is fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon, former state senate leader. One of the inevitable results of the relatively recent California jungle-primary — “top two” — system. De Leon is substantially left-er than Feinstein, and he’s got a real chance of knocking her off. The party endorsement would be a big boost for him; Feinstein’s trying to avert that. *UPDATE* — Looks like Feinstein’s cards weren’t high enough. California Dems endorsed de Leon in a vote on Saturday evening after a contentious party session. The die is cast.]
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is tapping into her political rolodex to convince California Democratic Party leaders to not formally endorse a candidate in her race against fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon.
She says it’s to avoid an intraparty fight, but her effort if successful will thwart her longshot rival’s very real chance at capturing the party nod when the committee votes Saturday.
A 26-year incumbent like Feinstein wouldn’t ordinarily find herself in this position but does for a couple of reasons: The party has moved farther left in the Trump era, and Feinstein hasn’t spent time courting the activists who make up the executive board, many of whom have long been skeptical of her. De Leon, meanwhile, has engaged with them for years as a state senator from Los Angeles and former leader of the chamber.