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California state senate president to challenge Feinstein in primary: report

California state senate president to challenge Feinstein in primary: report
© Greg Nash

California Senate Pro Tem President Kevin de León is expected to challenge longtime Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSunday Shows Preview: Emmanuel Macron talks ahead of state dinner CIA declassifies memo on nominee's handling of interrogation tapes Senate panel punts Mueller protection bill to next week MORE (D-Calif.) in the 2018 primary, according to CNN.

De León has been reportedly reaching out to labor leaders and elected officials with an announcement expected soon. CNN reported he’ll jump into the race after California’s legislative session.

The news comes several days after Feinstein, 84, announced that she would run for reelection. Feinstein has served in the upper chamber since 1992 and is the oldest U.S. senator. Feinstein reportedly announced her reelection on Monday after hearing that de León was preparing to launch a bid soon.

California holds a “jungle primary” where candidates regardless of party can compete and the top two finishers advance to a runoff.

De León is the first Latino to serve as the state’s Senate Pro Tem president since the 19th century. He hasn’t been shy about tangling with Feinstein on a number of issues, including her comments about being patient with President Trump and even her signature issues like gun control.

While Feinstein has been a longtime staple in California politics, she’s getting pushback from the left who believe she hasn’t held Trump accountable as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Many progressives have floated de León’s name as a challenger to Feinstein including Markos Moulitsas, who is the founder of the liberal blog Daily Kos. And major progressive group Democracy for America told The Hill earlier this week that they would be “especially interested in seeing Kevin run.”

Other Democrats seen as potential candidates are billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, who hasn’t ruled out a Senate run, and wealthy entrepreneur Joseph Sanberg.

The Hill reached out to de León spokesman for comment.