Dianne Feinstein running for reelection next year in face of liberal angst

Pauline Gross
October 10, 2017

Dianne Feinstein, the U.S. Senate's oldest member, tweeted this morning that she is running for reelection, ending the "will-she-or-won't-she" parlor game that has riveted California politics for months.

"Lots more to do: ending gun violence, combating climate change, access to healthcare", the 84-year-old California Democrat tweeted from a rarely used account, which her office confirmed was authentic.

Should Feinstein win and remain in her seat through 2022, she would become the longest-serving senator in California history, passing Hiram Johnson, who served 28 years starting in 1917.

Feinstein's reelection bid was quickly endorsed by fellow California Senator Kamala Harris. If elected, this will be her fifth term.

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California's increasingly progressive political environment has left more "moderate" Democratic candidates on the defense.

Feinstein is the author of the 1994 ban on assault weapons and the failed 2013 legislation to extend it, but oddly, one day before her re-election announcement, stated that "no law" could have stopped Stephen Paddock, the shooter in last week's Las Vegas massacre.

The powerful lobby last week surprised many gun control advocates by embracing possible restrictions on the bump stock devices in the wake of the shootings that killed more than 50 people and injured 500, prompting bipartisan support in Congress for regulating or banning bump stocks. Among them: She said two months ago that she hopes Trump "has the ability to learn and to change, and if he does, he can be a good president". Kevin de León, the president pro tempore of the California State Senate, is seen as a particularly strong challenger, and there are likely to be others. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who has served since 1977, has still not officially stated whether he plans to run again.

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