California Senate leader Kevin de León announced Sunday that he will be challenging fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein for Senate in 2018.
De León, the state senate’s president pro tempore, framed his Senate run as a battle against President Donald Trump in an email to supporters.
“We’re overdue for a real debate on the issues, priorities and leadership voters want from their senator. I think California needs a senator not just fully resistant to Trump’s presidency, but who understands the issues most Californians face every day,” De León wrote, according to the Los Angeles Times. “He disregards our voices. Demonizes our diversity. Attacks our civil rights, our clean air, our health access and our public safety. We can lead the fight against his administration, but only if we jump into the arena together.”
Feinstein, 84, has served in the U.S. Senate since 1992 and is expected to face a tough primary with liberal billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer considering a run.
Former Bernie Sanders adviser Chuck Rocha told The Daily Caller he welcomed De León’s Senate bid.
“I think Latinos are having a bigger and bigger influence on California politics and Kevin de León is a prime example along with sec of state Alex Padilla of our power and influence,” Rocha said. “I welcome him into the race and think it’s a good thing for CA.”
De León has previously gone to bat against Trump when it comes to immigration.
After a threat to withhold certain grants from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, De León said: “It has become abundantly clear that Atty. Gen. [Jeff] Sessions and the Trump administration are basing their law enforcement policies on principles of white supremacy — not American values.”
WATCH CNN COMMENTATOR CALL TRUMP A ‘WHITE SUPREMACIST’:
De León would later sponsor a piece of legislation signed into law that limits the ability of state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
He once stated that “half” of his family is “eligible for deportation” due to a Trump executive order because “anyone who has family members, you know, who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification.”
The California Democratic Senate primary is on June 5, 2018.