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 10:53 AM
Updated: May 5, 2018 10:53 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 147582

Reported Deaths: 3937
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24410780
Lake12911350
St. Joseph8651154
Elkhart8281130
Allen7756221
Hamilton5872113
Vanderburgh547750
Tippecanoe346414
Monroe316238
Hendricks3116130
Johnson2947127
Porter288948
Clark280857
Delaware277174
Vigo245534
Madison224587
Cass220120
LaPorte208853
Warrick185362
Floyd170865
Kosciusko169221
Howard155366
Bartholomew137557
Dubois133423
Marshall129826
Henry120728
Boone117748
Grant116839
Wayne114923
Hancock112844
Noble110033
Jackson106412
Morgan90840
Dearborn89528
Daviess82732
Gibson8229
Clinton80116
Shelby76929
Lawrence76732
LaGrange76114
Harrison72924
Putnam69415
Knox68610
DeKalb67411
Posey6695
Steuben5798
Miami5655
Montgomery55722
Fayette55615
White55615
Jasper5264
Greene50537
Scott50313
Decatur49339
Adams4555
Clay4266
Whitley4246
Ripley4138
Sullivan40612
Wells4045
Orange38124
Starke3787
Wabash3769
Spencer3656
Huntington3645
Franklin35925
Jennings35813
Washington3452
Randolph3318
Jefferson3275
Fulton3232
Pike31512
Carroll30513
Perry28214
Jay2756
Fountain2733
Tipton26123
Parke2152
Newton20511
Vermillion2031
Owen1991
Rush1984
Martin1930
Blackford1843
Crawford1401
Pulaski1401
Brown1283
Ohio1167
Benton1060
Union1010
Switzerland840
Warren721
Unassigned0233

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 181787

Reported Deaths: 5067
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin30590635
Cuyahoga19212671
Hamilton15890338
Montgomery9883184
Lucas8058370
Butler7856122
Summit6406260
Warren393360
Stark3605178
Mahoning3567283
Marion332149
Pickaway294646
Delaware275927
Lorain262389
Fairfield254156
Licking241065
Wood240181
Clark231654
Clermont225936
Trumbull2174134
Greene210840
Columbiana207887
Allen195873
Miami191056
Lake184757
Medina175542
Portage153067
Mercer143327
Ross130533
Wayne125968
Richland125724
Tuscarawas117822
Athens11452
Erie111453
Darke108850
Madison101314
Hancock97520
Auglaize92716
Lawrence88524
Putnam86127
Shelby85014
Geauga81950
Muskingum8174
Scioto7709
Belmont76827
Union7203
Ashtabula71348
Huron6909
Sandusky69022
Seneca57614
Preble57417
Ottawa55930
Holmes53710
Fulton4726
Henry44217
Jefferson4384
Defiance43713
Clinton42013
Jackson4197
Fayette4188
Crawford4088
Logan3923
Champaign3783
Highland3714
Ashland3705
Brown3583
Knox35215
Perry35011
Washington32423
Morrow3222
Williams3124
Hardin30913
Coshocton28612
Pike2780
Wyandot27813
Gallia27413
Guernsey2688
Van Wert2153
Meigs20512
Adams1936
Hocking1899
Carroll1887
Paulding1791
Monroe14118
Noble1120
Vinton853
Harrison763
Morgan690
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 40°
Angola
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Huntington
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 41°
Van Wert
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 41°
More rain on Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events