Feinstein Announces Reelection Bid, Likely to Face Primary

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California announced that she will seek reelection in 2018, silencing speculation that she meant to retire after holding the office for more than 25 years. "We are better off with her leadership and I look forward to continuing to fight together for California in the Senate".

In a post on Twitter, Feinstein, 84, said there is "lots more to do: ending gun violence, combating climate change, access to healthcare".

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Both in California and on a national level, progressives have wanted the Democratic Party to align its platform toward the agenda set forth by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. "It can't be changed by another president", said Feinstein, D-Calif., a longtime advocate of stricter gun control measures.

The veteran Democrat had dodged questions about whether she would seek a fifth term, leaving her party in the nation's most populous state in limbo about whether to start grooming a possible replacement.

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The announcement comes as no surprise given Feinstein's personality, and despite her needing to take a few days off in January to have a pacemaker installed. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said that if Republicans were willing to pass a bill banning bump stock devices - like those used by the Las Vegas hotel sniper - he would support the legislation, even if it was not accompanied by any other restrictions of weapons purchases. And two prominent Latino Democrats, Secretary of State Alex Padilla and state Sen.

However, when reminded of her age, a mere 38 percent said it would be good for her to run again, while 62 percent say it would be a bad idea.

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Beyond opposition from the left in the media and with some holding office, Feinstein may face problems with California voters. 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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