In the latest sign that many in the party are ready for new blood and a bolder, more progressive vision, the Democratic Party in California offered a stunning rebuke to the state’s senior US Senator Diane Feinstein by endorsing her primary challenger Kevin de León, the former State Senate leader from Los Angeles.
In a vote by the party’s 330-member executive body in Oakland on Saturday evening, de León received a full 65 percent of the votes, while Feinstein — who had argued with the board not to issue an endorsment — received only 7 percent. Twenty-eight percent of members chose not to vote.
“Tonight we showed the world what a truly unified Democratic Party looks like,” de León declared followig the vote. “California Democrats are leading the call for a bold agenda in Washington that puts people before politics and focuses on building a future for our state that works for everyone.”
The final results from Saturday’s party convention:
As the Los Angeles Times notes, the endorsement of de León “was an embarrassment for Feinstein, who is running for a fifth full term, and indicates that Democratic activists in California have soured on her reputation for pragmatism and deference to bipartisanship as Trump and a Republican-led Congress are attacking Democratic priorities on immigration, healthcare and environmental protections.”
Christina Bellatoni, political reporter for the Times, exclaimed:
Can’t underscore how huge this is in California politics:https://t.co/SkrKjttoNA
— Christina Bellantoni (@cbellantoni) July 15, 2018
Writing for The Intercept, California-based journalist David Dayen added: “The executive board has grown more and more progressive for a decade, since a new generation of activists secured spots in the party hierarchy. De León proved to have better relationships with party delegates than a senator who spends most of her time in Washington, and little connecting with Democratic activists back home. But the endorsement is also a resounding rejection of Feinstein’s brand of centrist politics, which simply doesn’t mesh well with the party’s most dedicated and plugged-in supporters.”
And Winnie Wong, co-founder of the People for Bernie [Sanders] group, simply pointed out just what a stunning landslide it was:
She won 7% of the vote. https://t.co/pUTXpXBAXj
— Winifred (@WaywardWinifred) July 15, 2018