Obama endorses Feinstein in California Senate primary

Former President Barack Obama endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday, his first Senate endorsement of the 2018 cycl...

Posted: May 5, 2018 9:53 AM
Updated: May 5, 2018 9:53 AM

Former President Barack Obama endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday, his first Senate endorsement of the 2018 cycle.

By backing Feinstein, Obama is stepping into what could be a contentious battle between the incumbent Democrat and California Democratic state Senate president Kevin de Le-n, a liberal upstart who is looking to unseat the longtime senator.

"She's always been an indispensable leader for California, and we became dear friends and partners in the fight to guarantee affordable healthcare and economic opportunity for everybody; to protect our planet from climate change, and our kids from gun violence," Obama said in a statement. "I ask Californians to join me in supporting Dianne Feinstein's reelection and returning one of America's most effective champions for progress to the Senate."

Feinstein said it "means a great deal to me to receive President Obama's endorsement, and I'm thankful and honored for his trust."

"Barack Obama was a singular President with a remarkable legacy that will truly stand the test of time" she said. "President Obama had the grace, wisdom and even-handedness that we quickly came to expect from a president -- and that we're now so sorely disappointed by its absence. I'll do my level best every day to build on President Obama's accomplishments and carry his torch forward, no matter the obstacles that stand in our way."

Obama and Feinstein were colleagues in the Senate and worked together extensively during the former President's eight years in office.

Though Friday's endorsement is not Obama's first of the 2018 cycle -- he backed Toni Preckwinkle for the Cook County Board earlier this year -- it is his first in what are sure to be Democrats' tough fight to take the Senate in 2018. Democrats are defending 26 Senate seats in 2018, with ten of those in states Trump won in 2016. Republicans are only defending nine seats.

De Leon announced last year that he would run against Feinstein, the 84-year-old Democrat who has served in the Senate since 1992.

So far his race, though, has been defined by his fundraising woes. De Leon has failed to tap into the base of Democratic donors who have long backed Feinstein, leaving the Democrat with around $600,000 in the bank.

Feinstein, on the other hand, has $10 million in her campaign war chest, money that will be needed in California, a state with multiple expensive media markets.

Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer endorsed De Leon earlier this year, however, providing the candidate with a possible top donor to fund an outside organization to attack Feinstein.

"I have known Sen. De Le-n for years and have fought alongside him on immigrant rights, expanding health care, and climate change," he said. "Our work together on behalf of all Californians has assured me that he would be the champion of California's priorities and values. Kevin de Le-n has proven himself to be the best of the next generation, and I am proud to support him for U.S. Senate."

Feinstein was also endorsed by the Los Angeles Times editorial board on Friday.

California has a top-two primary system, meaning it is possible Feinstein and De Leon could both advance in the primary and face off in the general election.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 485230

Reported Deaths: 6554
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1006801585
Ramsey43047801
Dakota36254390
Anoka33274384
Washington22065255
Stearns18723201
St. Louis14794262
Scott13273107
Wright12517115
Olmsted1177988
Sherburne871572
Carver771040
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Rice670091
Blue Earth593835
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Crow Wing519681
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Otter Tail481870
Benton446190
Winona418049
Mower404131
Douglas392568
Nobles386847
Goodhue385568
Polk342762
McLeod339349
Beltrami337351
Morrison324247
Lyon313044
Itasca312746
Becker310941
Isanti305754
Carlton300149
Steele299711
Pine282016
Freeborn280523
Nicollet258141
Todd247830
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Mille Lacs227247
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Meeker207434
Martin189328
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Murray9438
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Swift87918
Pope8025
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Lincoln5062
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Unassigned47968
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Kittson40821
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Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 362189

Reported Deaths: 5414
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58146549
Linn20653312
Scott18288207
Black Hawk16249291
Woodbury14961211
Johnson1383473
Dubuque13537194
Dallas1135890
Pottawattamie10765143
Story1021645
Warren555274
Clinton543284
Cerro Gordo533681
Webster518787
Marshall496272
Sioux494369
Buena Vista473236
Des Moines457661
Muscatine451191
Wapello4330108
Jasper416966
Plymouth394577
Lee375352
Marion359069
Jones294154
Henry292737
Carroll285548
Bremer280154
Crawford274735
Boone259630
Washington254147
Benton252854
Mahaska224346
Jackson221438
Dickinson217439
Tama213465
Kossuth208154
Clay193525
Hamilton192042
Delaware188839
Winneshiek188427
Buchanan185129
Fayette185035
Page183219
Hardin181039
Wright179731
Harrison179669
Cedar177923
Clayton168053
Butler166331
Mills163120
Floyd162740
Madison154518
Cherokee153935
Poweshiek153730
Hancock146829
Lyon145841
Allamakee145646
Iowa144423
Appanoose139147
Grundy139030
Jefferson138232
Winnebago138230
Cass134151
Calhoun133711
Mitchell130840
Louisa128241
Union126331
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Emmet121240
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Franklin118419
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Guthrie116528
Palo Alto104921
Montgomery103936
Howard103121
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Unassigned9890
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Monroe93128
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Ida91032
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Davis82623
Monona81627
Greene77310
Lucas73821
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Worth6987
Taylor66412
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Van Buren55918
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