His candidacy may be a long shot in the Democrat against Democrat battle for a U.S. Senate seat in California, but that didn’t keep Kevin de León from bringing his campaign to Butte County Thursday.
With Dianne Feinstein playing a central role in the high-stakes drama playing out in Washington over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, her challenger in November—fellow Democrat and former state senate president Kevin de León, was barnstorming the North State, trying to gin up enthusiasm for his longshot candidacy.
Speaking before a small crowd on the Chico State campus de León sought to distinguish himself. He laid out his humble roots, the son of an immigrant who cleaned houses in La Jolla.
“If you don’t get involved in politics, politics gets involved with you. Whether you like it or not," he said. "That’s why we have so many students are strapped with so much debt. That’s why we have the president pulling out of the Paris accords."
De León, who garnered the endorsement of the state Democratic Party over the now 85-year-old Feinstein, sought to distinguish himself by saying he’d be a more reliable progressive vote, hinting at Feinstein’s support for military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We have spent six trillion dollars. Six trillion dollars we should have spent on debt free college education, on Medicare for all, not Medicare for some, on immigration reform, investments in renewable energy,” de León said.
Feinstein was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992. A Public Policy Institute of California poll released Tuesday gave Feinstein an 11 point lead. In July she was ahead by 22 points.