The California Democratic Party on Saturday endorsed U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s challenger, highlighting the moderate lawmaker’s political disconnect with liberal activists in her home state.
The nod provides Kevin de León with a boost of momentum for his long-shot bid to unseat the 26-year-incumbent. After finishing second and 32 points behind Feinstein in the June primary, de León spent months calling more than 300 members of the party’s executive board to earn their support.
His work paid off Saturday when 65 percent of the voting members endorsed him over Feinstein at a gathering in Oakland. Feinstein had asked board members not to endorse either candidate.
“We want the party to be focused on the competitive congressional races,” said Bill Carrick, Feinstein’s longtime political advisor. “We don’t want them having to figure out whether they are going to do a slate mailer with the guy who got 12 percent.”
Feinstein’s call for “party unity” was echoed by several others within the party, including a half-dozen Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives that the veteran senator held a fundraiser for this week. Feinstein’s team sent out a campaign email Saturday afternoon touting her endorsements from Democratic heavyweights Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi.
Anita Narayana, a board member from Aliso Viejo, did not endorse either candidate.
She pointed to Feinstein’s overwhelming victory in June and said she’s cautious of the party falling out of step with voters. “I’m really concerned about the integrity of the party,” Narayana, 32, said. “When we have had races where Democratic endorsed candidates don’t win, that’s really bad. I want the endorsement to mean something.”
This is a spectacular self-own right now, considering what’s going on in the Senate Intelligence Committee and given the upcoming Kavanaugh Supreme Court fight. Feinstein already won the Dem nomination in the primary last month.
But a message had to be sent, and that message is “The most populous state in the nation and the largest state Democratic Party in the nation needs to get its act together, because the petulant toddlers are apparently in charge of both major parties in the Golden State.”
Nice going guys, this is the 100% absolute perfect time to refight a lost primary battle from a month ago. Good job.