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Though California primary voters supported U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein by a huge margin, state party insiders are readying for a fight over choosing a favorite in her general election race against fellow Democrat state Sen. Kevin de León.

Feinstein, in an apparent attempt to avoid what could be an embarrassing loss, on Tuesday called for unity and urged party leaders to decline to endorse anyone at the upcoming executive board meeting where the endorsement question will be decided.

The article goes on to state the following:

“Republicans would like nothing more than to see Democrats fighting each other, and a formal endorsement in our race will divide our party at the exact time we need to come together and focus on the general election,” Feinstein, who is seeking a fifth full term, wrote in an email to state Democrats.

The drama over an official endorsement is another indication that California’s Democrat-on-Democrat fight for the Senate seat, born out of the state’s top-two primary system, is exposing fractures among the party’s moderates and progressives. Neither candidate won a primary endorsement but de León came close, winning 54% of votes, shy of the 60% needed to secure the nod. Feinstein received just 37%.

De Leon was the sponsor of the “Sanctuary State” legislation that was passed into law in California last year. The LA Times also reported:

The endorsement can come with millions of dollars of support, cash de León could use as he trails Feinstein badly in fundraising and polls. De León won his second place spot in the primary with just 12% of the vote, while Feinstein won first place with a whopping 44%.

De León has tried to tap into the newly energized liberal faction by highlighting his support for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, aggressive goals for renewable energy and single-payer healthcare. He has also dinged Feinstein, known as having moderate tendencies, for any whiff of support for President Trump, such as when she urged people to have “patience” with the president last year.

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