Sen. Dianne Feinstein Running for Reelection

Feinstein running for reelection next year

Democrat Dianne Feinstein, the oldest current USA senator, said on Monday she was "all in" to run for re-election next year in her home state of California.

California's senior senator - and the most senior woman in the chamber - took office in 1992 to fill the seat that Republican Pete Wilson vacated to become governor. Dianne Feinstein will run for a fifth full term in 2018. Lots more to do: "ending gun violence, combating climate change, access to healthcare, I'm all in!" she tweeted.

Feinstein's reelection bid was quickly endorsed by fellow California Senator Kamala Harris. "I'm not sure there is any set of laws that could have prevented it", she said. If she were to win, she would be 91 by the time her term ended.

Feinstein has been a leading advocate for stricter gun safety laws for decades, and last week introduced legislation that would ban so-called bump stocks. The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, has said he's open to legislation and that he'd spoken with Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley, who was interested in holding a hearing.

The issue of gun violence surged to the fore last week after a shooter in Las Vegas slaughtered 58 people and injured almost 500 more with high-powered semi-automatic rifles. The devices were found on several of the weapons in the assailant's Las Vegas hotel room.

"I'm immensely proud of my service in the Senate and all I've done to help the people of California and the nation", Feinstein wrote on Facebook. Some of the Democrats now running for governor, including State Treasurer John Chiang, hadn't ruled out switching to a Senate campaign. Kevin de León, the president pro tempore of the California State Senate, is seen as a particularly strong challenger, and there are likely to be others. "The fact that the establishment is rallying around her reelection shows that D.C. insiders continued to privilege protecting one of their own over the voters concerns [sic]". If the 83-year-old opts to retire, Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate who now lives in Utah, is among those considering a potential campaign.

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