Feinstein working to deny de Leon official party backing
By Kathleen Ronayne | Associated Press
SACRAMENTO — 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 November 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.
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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.
A party endorsement would be a desperately needed boost to his campaign and an embarrassment to Feinstein.
She made the case against endorsement to party leaders through letters and emails featuring political allies including Planned Parenthood of California chief executive Crystal Strait, labor icon Dolores Huerta and former state party Chairman John Burton.
Six Democratic candidates seeking to flip Republican-held U.S. House seats critical to the party’s hopes of taking back Congress also implored delegates not to weigh in. Feinstein and fellow California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris hosted a fundraiser Wednesday night in Washington for those six candidates and two others.
“A divisive party endorsement for U.S. Senate would hurt all down ballot candidates and our ability to turn out Democrats we desperately need to vote in November,” their letter warned. “We urge you to vote no …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics