How Dianne Feinstein's re-election bid encapsulates the divide within the Democratic Party

Feinstein 'We need a law' on bump stocks

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced Monday that she is running for reelection for the California Senate seat she has held since 1992.

Feinstein's decision to run for a fifth full term sets up a 2018 Senate race that could be a cakewalk for her or could draw a strong primary challenger from the left. "It can't be changed by another president", said Feinstein, D-Calif., a longtime advocate of stricter gun control measures.

At least one liberal journalist, Markos Moulitsas, founder of the progressive Daily Kos and co-founder of Vox Media, reached out directly to De León, an outspoken opponent of President Donald Trump who is pushing a sanctuary state law in California, offering to work together to beat "the most pro-Trump Blue-state Dem in the country [Feinstein]".

The announcement that Feinstein would run was first tweeted Monday by an unverified Twitter account affiliated with Feinstein.

California Democrats until recently appeared on a almost endless wait to rise in political circles - with Feinstein and fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer as the state's long-standing USA senators and fellow party member Jerry Brown serving four straight terms as governor.

Her reelection bid comes amid some criticism of her record from the left wing of the Democratic Party.

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Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley in Congress, told Jeff Stein of Vox that Feinstein "is out of touch with the grassroots of our party on economic policy and foreign policy". She is also a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and was the first woman to lead that panel, from 2009 through 2015.

"I am all in!" she wrote.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who replaced Boxer after she retired previous year, was the first new senator from California in almost a quarter of a century.

However, when reminded of her age, a mere 38 percent said it would be good for her to run again, while 62 percent say it would be a bad idea.

Feinstein is the oldest US senator but among several octogenarians, including Republicans Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Richard Shelby, Jim Inhofe, Pat Roberts and John McCain.

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