United States Senator Dianne Feinstein (left) and California State Senator Kevin de Leon. Photos: Wikimedia Commons

State Sen. Kevin de Leon was endorsed for the U.S. Senate by the California Democratic Party’s executive board over fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

De Leon, who represents a district in central Los Angeles, received 217 votes, or 65 percent, to 22 for Feinstein, or 7 percent. A total 94 board members at the meeting Saturday in Oakland voted to make no endorsement.

A candidate needed to receive 60 percent of vote to receive the endorsement.

“First, to the members of the California Democratic Party, this is your victory,” de Leon said. “Earning the endorsement of so many leaders and activists of the California Democratic Party isn’t just an honor and a privilege; today’s vote is a clear-eyed rejection of politics as usual in Washington, D.C.”

Feinstein campaign manager Jeff Millman downplayed the loss of the endorsement, citing the results from the June 5 primary, when Feinstein received 44.2 percent of the vote and de Leon 12.1 percent.

“While 217 delegates expressed their view today, Senator Feinstein won by 2.1 million votes and earned 70 percent of the Democratic vote in the California primary election, carrying every county by double digits over her opponent,” Millman said. “We are confident that a large majority of California Democrats will vote to re-elect Senator Feinstein in November.”

The vote was taken Saturday because no candidate received the required 60 percent of the vote at the party’s state convention in San Diego in February.

De Leon received 54 percent of the vote at the convention and the 85-year-old Feinstein, who has been a member of the U.S. Senate since 1992, 37 percent of the vote.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.