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U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate, as the higher chamber of Congress, wields considerable powers, as its recent approval of a Supreme Court justice illustrated.

This year’s U.S. Senate race pits two Democrats against each other, incumbent Dianne Feinstein who has served as one of two California senators since 1992 and former state Senate president pro tempore Kevin de León.

Because the seat will be held by a Democrat, It’s not considered one that’s in play as Democrats nationally seek party control of the Senate as well as the House. Instead, the race is one where the candidates agree on many issues and disagree on a few, with Feinstein generally taking a moderate position to de León’s more progressive stands.

Kevin de León

Age 51

California Senator

Kevin de León
Democrat

Kevin de León, 51, is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate challenging longtime incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein. He served as state Senate president pro tempore from 2014 to 2018. Because he is termed out, he cannot run again for his Senate seat representing District 24, which covers parts of Los Angeles.

Dianne Feinstein

Age 85

Incumbent

Dianne Feinstein
Democrat

Dianne Feinstein, 85, is California's senior senator, having been first elected to the Senate in 1992. She is the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and led the opposition to President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Feinstein served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and as the city’s mayor from 1978 to 1988.


Where do the candidates stand on the issues that matter to you?
Health care
Kevin De León

De León supports "Medicare-for-all." He says GOP efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act shows why it isn’t enough. "Until we secure a true Medicare for All system, Republicans will do everything they can to strip many hardworking Americans of the dignity and services we deserve."

Dianne Feinstein

She has consistently voted against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and plans to continue to work to "improve the law, rather than dismantle it." She supports a public health option to compete with private insurance companies and has said in ads that she backs expanding Medicare to everyone over 55.

Gun control
Kevin De León

De León says "it’s possible to enact commonsense gun control that keeps our families and communities safe while also protecting the constitutional rights of gun owners." He supports a comprehensive gun control plan that includes an assault weapons ban, expanded background checks and preventing convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying and owning guns.

Dianne Feinstein

Feinstein has made national gun control a priority of her legislative agenda. She authored the now-expired 1994 assault weapons ban. With other Democrats, she introduced a bill in 2017 to stop the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. She told an audience at the state Democratic Party convention this year: "I have been a woman on a mission to ban assault weapons."

Immigration
Kevin De León

De León calls President Trump's immigration views "backwards and dangerous." He sponsored California's sanctuary state law, defends the DREAMER program and opposes a border wall.

Dianne Feinstein

Feinstein supports the DREAM Act, which would allow young immigrants brought here illegally as children a path to permanent residency. She has opposed President Trump’s immigration policies, including his travel ban impacting Muslim-majority countries, and has long advocated for farmworker protections.