Feinstein Holds Back Progressive Challenger To Win Primary

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California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein won the most votes in the Senate primary race Tuesday, ensuring her chance to be on the ballot for a fifth term as senator.

Despite not gaining the endorsement from her state’s party, Feinstein managed to get the most votes in California’s top-two primary system, winning around 44 percent with 90 percent of precincts reporting, according to the LA Times.

The runner-up candidate whom Feinstein will face in November is unclear. In the lead for the second ballot slot is progressive state Sen. Kevin de León of Los Angeles, a fellow Democrat, followed by businessman Republican candidate James Bradley who is virtually unknown and didn’t raise enough money to report to the Federal Election Commission.

De León attacked the 84-year-old Feinstein for holding centrist positions, and attempted to position himself as a Bernie-style progressive to capitalize on dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party machine.

Even though Feinstein didn’t earn her party’s endorsement in February, establishment Democrats rallied around her by the end of the race. She was endorsed by former President Barack Obama, who will likely be active in campaigns around the country for the first election since departing the presidency.

Feinstein famously broke away from her party in supporting the Iraq war and the death penalty — but she announced late in May that she no longer supports capital punishment. (RELATED: Dianne Feinstein Drops Death Penalty Support To Survive Primary Fight)

 Though Feinstein is favored to win in November, a challenge from the left in the de León camp would make it a tough fight.

“This race is a fight for California’s future,” de León said to his supporters Tuesday evening. “Real leadership is doing the right thing even when no one is watching – or running against you in an election,” de León said.

If Feinstein wins another term November, she would turn 90 years old before the next election.

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