Obama endorses Feinstein amid challenge from left
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Former President Obama is endorsing Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinIncoming Congress looks more like America The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight 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 TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump 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 BidenGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race MORE threw his support behind Feinstein in March. She's also been endorsed by House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases House Democrats urge congressional leaders to support .1B budget for IRS Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate MORE (Calif.) and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWho will replace Harris in Senate? 'Rising' discusses Wisconsin formally declares Biden won election following recount Moderate Democrats: Everyone's older siblings 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.