Obama endorses Feinstein amid challenge from left
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Former President Obama is endorsing Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSanders revokes congressional endorsement for Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur Sanders endorses Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur for Katie Hill's former House seat Houston police chief stands by criticism of McConnell, Cruz, Cornyn: 'This is not political' MORE (D-Calif.) as she faces a prominent Democratic challenger. 

Obama said in a Friday statement that he was giving his "strong endorsement" and calling Feinstein "one of America's most effective champions for progress to the Senate.”  
 
"She’s always been an indispensable leader for California, and we became dear friends and partners in the fight to guarantee affordable healthcare and economic opportunity for everybody; to protect our planet from climate change, and our kids from gun violence," he added. 

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Feinstein's reelection campaign blasted out the announcement on Friday, noting the two had worked on "shared priorities" when Obama was a senator and during his administration. 
 
Feinstein, 84, has held her the seat since 1992 but is facing frustration from liberals who believe her old-school Senate collegiality is out of touch in the era of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE
 
She failed to secure the California Democratic Party’s endorsement earlier this year, winning 37 percent of delegates' votes compared to the 54 percent captured by state Senate leader Kevin de León (D). A candidate must win 60 percent of the vote to secure an endorsement. 
 
Feinstein heaped praise on Obama on Friday, calling him a "singular president" with a "remarkable legacy" and pledged to "carry his torch forward." 
 
"It means a great deal to me to receive President Obama’s endorsement, and I’m thankful and honored for his trust," she said.

In a shot at Trump, Feinstein added that Obama "had the grace, wisdom and even-handedness that we quickly came to expect from a president — and that we’re now so sorely disappointed by its absence."
 
Obama's endorsement comes after former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications MORE threw his support behind Feinstein in March. She's also been endorsed by House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUSMCA is nice but no model Anti-impeachment Democrat poised to switch parties Grassley urges White House to help farmers in year-end tax talks MORE (Calif.) and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Sanders revokes congressional endorsement for Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate MORE (D-Calif.), who is considered a potential 2020 White House contender. 
 
Early and absentee voting for the race is scheduled to start on Monday. The primary is on June 5.