1676415025 Veteran Senator Dianne Feinstein will retire in 2024

Veteran Senator Dianne Feinstein will retire in 2024

California Senator Dianne Feinstein enters the Senate chambers this Tuesday, February 14.California Senator Dianne Feinstein enters the Senate chambers this Tuesday, February 14. Scott Applewhite (AP)

Farewell to one of California’s political legends. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Tuesday that she would not stand for re-election in the 2024 election. The 89-year-old representative, ending a career in the Capitol that began more than three decades ago, in 1992, suggested to do as much as I can for California by the end of next year, when my term ends,” the senator said in a statement. The announcement also marks the launch of one of the most important political positions in the country’s most populous state. There are already some interested in filling the position that has left a benchmark for women in American politics.

Feinstein, who has been dubbed an “icon” by Nancy Pelosi, confirms months of speculation about his ability to continue in office. She is the longest-serving senator among the 100 lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Had he continued, he would be 91 on Election Day in November 2024 and 97 after six years in office. His health has also been the subject of debate. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper said in April last year that the senator was struggling after long sessions held in Washington to discuss the law’s content. He also dealt with short-term memory problems: he forgot the names of his colleagues and phone calls. The article was based on testimonies from close associates who remained anonymous.

The revelations and concerns of Democrats in the Chronicle also impacted Feinstein’s fundraising ability, who has shown great strength in previous election cycles when it comes to raising campaign funds. In 2018, he raised more than $11 million, far exceeding the average of his peers. So Feinstein ran against Kevin de León, a Democratic politician of Latin American descent who wanted to refresh the seat. Current Mayor De León’s reputation was tarnished by the recent Los Angeles City Council racism scandal. Feinstein won that election with 54%, with almost a million votes.

Feinstein’s retirement sets in motion intense competition for the job. Several politicians have announced their intention to take over the seat, which the former San Francisco mayor has held for 31 years. Congressman Adam Schiff announced at the end of January that he would start the election campaign with a view to autumn 2024. Schiff rose to national prominence as one of the most visible faces of the committee that presided over Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. Alongside Schiff, Congressmen Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, with more progressive profiles, have begun raising funds for the fight. California has 52 members of the House of Representatives (40 are Democrats) but only two senators. The other is Alex Padilla, the only Latino to hold the position.

The still senator said Tuesday that she will devote her time in Washington to some of the causes she has defended for decades. “Preventing and fighting wildfires, mitigating the effects of drought, responding to the homeless crisis, and ensuring all Americans have access to affordable Social Security,” the lawmaker said in the statement. Despite being the longest-serving woman in the Senate and the most experienced Democrat, she does not chair a committee. Polls have also revealed that approval for the politician, a moderate centrist, has taken a nosedive in very progressive California.

Obama is greeted by Senator Feinstein upon arrival in California.Obama is greeted by Senator Feinstein upon arrival in California. JEWEL SAMAD (AFP)

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Feinstein also mentions fighting the “epidemic of gun violence.” The senator was one of the architects of the 1994 rule banning the sale of high-powered rifles in the United States, one of the most important gun control laws. This has resulted in a 40% reduction in killings and mass shootings. To ensure Senate Republicans would support her, Feinstein relented and added a ten-year sunset clause. Advocating for gun control nearly cost him his job when he was first re-elected. In November of the same year he won the elections by a margin of 2%. Feinstein has been trying to enact a new ban on these types of guns since 2017. The strong polarization that the country is experiencing has caused the attempt to fail again and again.

A Stanford University graduate, Feinstein began her political career as an expert on the justice and prison systems. In 1960, the governor of California appointed her to the board overseeing parole from state prisons. In 1969 he rose to one of San Francisco’s highest political offices, the Board of Supervisors, the body that oversees the borough’s activities. From there she wanted to become mayor of her city, but failed in two attempts, in 1971 and four years later, in 1975.

Feinstein met Harvey Milk, a pioneering minority rights advocate, on the San Francisco board of directors. In November 1978, Milk was murdered along with the city’s mayor, George Moscone, by a former borough manager, Dan White. Feinstein had an office at City Hall and heard the shots. She was the first to find Milk’s body on the ground. Feinstein, thanks to the support of other superiors, became the mayor, the first woman to hold the office. He extended his term after two elections. The murders of Milk and Moscone convinced her to fight against gun proliferation in the United States.

The mayor was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1990. However, she lost to Republican Pete Wilson. Two years later she became a senator. He came to Washington with Barbara Boxer, who left office in 2017 when she was replaced by Kamala Harris. One of Feinstein’s most important legacies in Washington was his release in 2014 of a more than 6,000-page report documenting the torture used by the CIA to gather information. The document confronted lawmakers with Washington’s leadership. First with President George W. Bush and then with Barack Obama, who belonged to the same party. Feinstein then accused the White House of censoring text that shed light on the agents’ bad practices.

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