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Kevin de León Formally Announces Plan To Challenge Feinstein In 2018

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Kevin de León. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images)
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California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León has formally announced his campaign to run against Dianne Feinstein in the 2018 U.S. Senate elections. CNN caught wind of his plans to challenge Feinstein earlier this week, but this is De León's first official announcement of the campaign. Feinstein announced she would run for re-election last week, so Kevin de León's announcement confirms there will be bitter primary for the California Democrats' Senate candidate.

Feinstein has served as Senator since 1992, and she represents the old guard of Democrats in the state. De León, who introduced California's "sanctuary state" bill and championed the extension of California's landmark cap and trade program, has developed a reputation as a powerful progressive.

Feinstein will be 85 years old during the 2018 elections, and is the oldest U.S. Senator currently serving. She has never faced a serious challenge from within the Democratic party, notes SF Gate. De León, 50, represents California's 24th Senate District, which includes downtown and East L.A. He served four years in the State Assembly before being elected into the Senate in 2010.

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In an e-mail to supporters, he said, "I am running for the U.S. Senate because you deserve a seat at the table," according to the L.A. Times. He specifically calls out President Donald Trump's policies as a major motivation for his campaign. "Every day, his Administration wages war on our people and our progress. He disregards our voices. Demonizes our diversity. Attacks our civil rights, our clean air, our health access and our public safety," De León wrote.

Feinstein currently has the endorsement of Mayor Eric Garcetti and Senator Kamala Harris. Garcetti hosted a fundraiser for Feinstein in Beverly Hills last week, where he said, "We cannot afford a primary — that would be the biggest gift we could give to the White House and the GOP," according to the Times.

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