Dianne Feinstein running for reelection next year

Dianne Feinstein running for reelection next year

But in a sign that Feinstein still has plenty of sway among the state's liberal power brokers, Kamala Harris, California's junior senator and a favorite among progressives, quickly and enthusiastically endorsed her bid. She said the change in gun laws must be permanent and codified by Congress, not addressed through regulations only.

The powerful lobby last week surprised many gun control advocates by embracing possible restrictions on the bump stock devices in the wake of the shootings that killed more than 50 people and injured 500, prompting bipartisan support in Congress for regulating or banning bump stocks.

Feinstein has faced criticisms from the Democratic base as of late, fueling the possibility of a primary challenge in the coming months. A new website accompanying her announcement contends that "It's more critical than ever" to have her in the Senate, where she offers "common sense solutions". "Her policies are completely out of touch with California Democrats, and we think she'd be more at home in a Republican primary", said Corbin Trent of the Bernie Sanders-inspired group Justice Democrats, vowing to back a primary challenger.

"We share a common interest in this Senate race. I'm in a position where I can be effective, and hopefully that means something to California", she said.

More news: Discrimination Is the Big Winner in the Justice Department's New Religious Guidelines

Garcetti has repeatedly praised the work of Feinstein, saying he hoped she would run again. "At a time when so much we hold dear is under attack, we need her in the US Senate".

At 84, she is the oldest current member of the Senate; she would be 91 if she won next year and finished out another six-year term.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who replaced Boxer after she retired a year ago, was the first new senator from California in almost a quarter of a century.

"What Californians get from Dianne is someone who sticks to her principles and achieves results regardless of powerful opponents, from the assault weapons ban to the Central Intelligence Agency torture report", Harris said.

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