State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) used a populist, anti-Washington message Wednesday at his first campaign event since announcing he was challenging fellow Democrat and incumbent Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Monday.
“The D.C. playbook is obsolete and it is time that we the people of California bring the agenda to Washington, not the other way around,” De León said to a crowd at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College in downtown Los Angeles, according to Southern California Public Radio (SCPR).
“California should always be a place where you can be whoever you are, and become whoever you dream of being. California should always stand up for you. That’s a principle bigger than partisanship and more powerful than any president of the United States of America,” he reportedly said.
In February, De Léon said that half his family was in the United Staes illegally, and defended the use of false documents by illegal aliens.
De León styles himself as more “progressive” than Feinstein, who is one of the Golden State’s more moderate Democrats.
However, he may face a major financial hurdle going against Feinstein, who has far more funds in her campaign war chest, the backing of big names in her party, and far better name recognition.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “As of June 30, the deadline for the state’s most recent campaign finance filings, de León had $886,000 left over from his 2014 campaign for state Senate and $2.82 million from a once-prospective 2018 run for lieutenant governor.”
The Sacramento Bee noted that “Feinstein had raised $3.6 million for her reelection through June, though she could turn to her personal fortune if pressed.”
In addition to having support of the Democratic Party establishment, Feinstein also has the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.