State Watch

Feinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she’ll run again

Greg Nash
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has scheduled two campaign kick-off fundraisers early this year, a hint that the Senate’s oldest member wants another six years in office.
Feinstein’s campaign will hold fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to two California Democratic strategists on the invite list. Feinstein already has more than $2.5 million in the bank for her reelection bid.
The fundraisers were first reported Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.
{mosads}Still, whether Feinstein will actually run remains an open question. She has declined to say whether she will seek a fifth full term in office. Feinstein would be 85 on Election Day in 2018. 
Last week, she had a pacemaker installed — though she showed up to question several of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees in Senate hearings less than 48 hours after the operation.
Bill Carrick, Feinstein’s longtime campaign consultant, suggested the senator is in no rush to make her plans public.
“I wouldn’t hold your breath here that something’s going to happen soon,” Carrick said Tuesday. 
But, he added: “There are preparations going on to raise money, definitely.”
A Feinstein spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Behind the scenes, Feinstein’s future dominates the political chatter among consultants from Sacramento to South Central. A host of ambitious Democrats, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a number of members of Congress and state legislative leaders, are all hoping for the rare opportunity to run for an open Senate seat.
Feinstein and her longtime colleague, former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), held both the state’s seats in the U.S. Senate since 1992. California voters elected Sen. Kamala Harris (D) to replace the retiring Boxer in 2016, a race many big-name officeholders sat out in deference to the better-known, and better-funded, Harris.
Should either Garcetti or Padilla succeed Feinstein, they would become the first politician from Southern California to hold a U.S. Senate seat in more than a generation, since Republican Pete Wilson left office to become governor in 1991. Feinstein, Boxer, Harris and former Sen. Alan Cranston (D) all hailed from the Bay Area.
Tags Barbara Boxer Dianne Feinstein Donald Trump

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