Democrat Kevin de Leon announces primary challenge to Dianne Feinstein, promises to fight Trump

Kevin de Leon announced Sunday he will challenge fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein when she seeks her fifth term in the U.S. Senate.

De Leon, California’s Senate leader, announced his bid in an email and video to supporters, in which he attacked President Trump.

“We now stand at the front lines of a historic struggle for the very soul of America, against a president without one. Every day, his administration wages war on our people and our progress. He disregards our voices. Demonizes our diversity. Attacks our civil rights, our clean air, our health access and our public safety,” de Leon said in the email to supporters. “We can lead the fight against his administration, but only if we jump into the arena together.”

De Leon said he will focus on confronting climate change and enacting universal healthcare.

“I am running for the U.S. Senate because you deserve a seat at the table,” he said. “To achieve these goals, expand the California Dream, and take the fight to Trump from California to Washington, D.C., I commit to working tirelessly to earn your vote here at home, and once elected, to do my part to work even harder to reunite this nation with a progressive agenda.”

De Leon is expected to be formidable primary challenger on Feinstein’s left.

California progressives have questioned Feinstein in recent months, especially after her August comments where she claimed Trump could be a “good president.”

Feinstein also said former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is on shaky legal ground and that Congress should pass a law to continue it. The program protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation, and gives them work permits.

De Leon has been a vocal opponent of the president in the state Senate, which has helped make California a “sanctuary state.”

They also passed a resolution calling on Trump “to publicly apologize to all Americans for his racist and bigoted behavior.” He recently helped California extend its landmark cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide contributing to global warming.

Feinstein and de Leon will face off in California’s jungle primary next summer. The top two finishers of that contest will compete in the general election in November.

Feinstein has served in the Senate since 1992, when she won a special election two years before winning her first full term in the Senate in 1994. At 84, she is the oldest member of the Senate.

This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner

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