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Democratic State Convention delegates decide against key endorsements

Delegates at this weekend's California Democratic Party State Convention have decided against making endorsements among the candidates for governor, attorney general and U.S. Senate, a race where i...
Democratic State Convention delegates decide against key endorsements

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Delegates at the California Democratic Party's convention in San Diego failed to reach a consensus to endorse candidates for multiple high-level positions Sunday.

Candidates for the U.S. Senate and for California governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general all failed to receive enough support to receive the endorsement of the state Democratic Party.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, who at 84 is the Senate's oldest member, did not receive the 60 percent of votes necessary for an endorsement this weekend.

The indecision was seen as a rejection of incumbent Feinstein, who received 37 percent of the vote, compared with 54 percent for Democratic state Senator Kevin de Leon, who has launched an insurgent campaign against Feinstein.

"The outcome of today's endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and it boosts our campaign's momentum as we all stand shoulder to shoulder against a complacent status quo," de Leon said in a statement released late Saturday.

Recent statewide polls show Feinstein with a sizable lead over de Leon.

The gubernatorial vote was splintered among the top four candidates: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, an outcome that was widely expected.

Newsom received 39 percent of delegates' votes, Chiang received 30 percent and Eastin received 20 percent. Villaraigosa came in last at 9 percent.

Candidates for state attorney general also failed to reach the 60 percent threshold in the race between incumbent Xavier Becerra, who took office in January 2017 after being appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to replace Sen. Kamala Harris, and former state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. The tally was 56 percent for Jones and 42 percent for Becerra.

An estimated 3,400 delegates have participated in the convention, which wraps up Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center. To gain an endorsement, a candidate must receive 60 percent of the votes cast.

Candidates who won endorsements included incumbent state Controller Betty Yee, state Sen. Ricardo Lara for insurance commissioner, incumbent Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma for state treasurer and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond for state superintendent of public instruction.

All of Greater Los Angeles's Democratic congressional incumbents won endorsements as well.

Delegates endorsed Julia Peacock to run for Republican Rep. Ken Calvert's seat in the Inland Empire's 42nd Congressional District, Dave Min for Republican Mimi Walter's seat in Orange County's 45th Congressional District and Hans Keirstead for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's seat in the 48th Congressional District, also in Orange County.

No consensus was reached for the Antelope Valley's 25th Congressional District, where Republican Rep. Steve Knight is running for reelection, or for Orange County's 39th Congressional District, where multiple Democrats are vying for the seat of retiring Republican Rep. Ed Royce.

Delegates also approved positions on five state ballot measures.

The party supports:

-- Proposition 68, which authorizes $4 billion in bonds for projects for parks, environmental protection, water infrastructure and flood protection;

-- Proposition 69, which restricts revenue from diesel sales taxes and the Transportation Improvement Fee to be used only for transportation- related purposes;

-- Proposition 71, which moves the date a ballot measure will go into effect to the fifth day after the secretary of states certifies the results. Currently, ballot measures go into effect the day after it's approved;

-- Proposition 72, which excludes new rainwater capture systems from property tax reassessments.

-- Delegates opposed Proposition 70, which will require a two-thirds vote in 2024 to pass a spending pan for revenue from California's cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.

An estimated 3,400 delegates participated in the convention, which was scheduled to wrap up Sunday.


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