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'She Won 7% of the Vote': In Rebuke to Feinstein, Progressive Challenger Kevin de León Receives Landslide Endorsement from California Democrats

"California Democrats are leading the call for a bold agenda in Washington that puts people before politics and focuses on building a future for our state that works for everyone," de León declared in reaction.

Former California State Senator Kevin de León delivers a speech on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On Saturday, de León's bid to unseat encumbent Sen. Diane Feinstein was endorsed by the California Democratic Party in a landslide vote by the party's executive board. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

In the latest sign that many in the party are ready for new blood and a bolder, more progressive vision, the Democratic Party in California offered a stunning rebuke to the state's senior U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein by endorsing her primary challenger Kevin de León, the former State Senate leader from Los Angeles.

In a vote by the party's 330-member executive body in Oakland on Saturday evening, de León received a full 65 percent of the votes, while Feinstein—who had argued with the board not to issue an endorsment—received only 7 percent. Twenty-eight percent of members chose not to vote.

"Tonight we showed the world what a truly unified Democratic Party looks like," de León declared followig the vote. "California Democrats are leading the call for a bold agenda in Washington that puts people before politics and focuses on building a future for our state that works for everyone."

The final results from Saturday's party convention:

final_results_democratic_endorsement.jpg

As the Los Angeles Times notes, the endorsement of de León "was an embarrassment for Feinstein, who is running for a fifth full term, and indicates that Democratic activists in California have soured on her reputation for pragmatism and deference to bipartisanship as Trump and a Republican-led Congress are attacking Democratic priorities on immigration, healthcare and environmental protections."

Christina Bellatoni, political reporter for the Times, exclaimed:

Writing for The Intercept, California-based journalist David Dayen added: "The executive board has grown more and more progressive for a decade, since a new generation of activists secured spots in the party hierarchy. De León proved to have better relationships with party delegates than a senator who spends most of her time in Washington, and little connecting with Democratic activists back home. But the endorsement is also a resounding rejection of Feinstein’s brand of centrist politics, which simply doesn’t mesh well with the party’s most dedicated and plugged-in supporters."

And Winnie Wong, co-founder of the People for Bernie [Sanders] group, simply pointed out just what a stunning landslide it was:

We know things are bad. We know it's worth the fight.

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