Democrats Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and her challenger State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) are competing for a second time for their party’s endorsement in the state of California, with the general election a mere four months away.
Feinstein is seeking a fifth term in the Senate.
“Republicans would like nothing more than to see Democrats fighting each other, and a formal endorsement in our race will divide our party at the exact time we need to come together and focus on the general election,” Feinstein reportedly wrote in an email to state Democrats, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Neither Feinstein nor De León won the endorsement of the Golden State’s Democratic Party in February, although De León was closest to achieving it, having been just 6 points shy of the 60% he needed needed to secure it. Meanwhile, Feinstein received just 37% of the vote.
Some analysts say a second failure by Feinstein to receive the party’s endorsement would be far worse for her than if she were to forgo seeking the endorsement altogether. That way, she could dismiss the unfavorable vote as a consequence of her lack of action on the matter.
Feinstein’s campaign manager Jeff Millman told the Times, “As of now, neither candidate has the votes to win the endorsement and many of the executive board members that we’ve talked to, in the interest of party unity, are going to vote no endorsement.”
However, De Léon’s campaign is more confident. Should he receive his party’s endorsement, De León could see a major boost in fundraising, which he needs.
Prior to finishing in second place in the June primary election, De León lagged in the polls. He has, however, received the endorsement of left-wing and “progressive” groups, exposing the division between the Democratic Party’s moderate and progressive wings.