Feinstein will not seek re-election, says she will finish term

Dianne Feinstein, United States Congress, US Senate Photo/Becky Hammel. 2004

POLITICAL PULSE: Ending widespread speculation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced today that she will not seek re-election when her term ends in January 2025.

The announcement, made on the San Francisco pol’s Twitter page, confirms that she will continue to serve in the Senate, and expects to complete her current term.

Feinstein, 89, is the longest-serving woman Senator in United States history. She won election, along with former Senator Barbara Boxer, in 1992, the “Year of the Woman.” Boxer retired in 2017.

Feinstein rose to prominence in 1978, when she assumed the office of Mayor of San Francisco following the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk by former colleague Dan White. The events pushed Feinstein, who had served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for nine years, into the spotlight, and she was a popular Mayor, elected to two full terms.

In 1990 she ran for governor of California, losing that race to another California mayor, then-Senator Pete Wilson, the former Mayor of San Diego. Wilson resigned from the Senate upon inauguration and appointed another former mayor, state Senator John Seymour of Anaheim, as his successor. Two years later, Feinstein defeated Seymour and won Wilson’s Senate seat, which she has retained since.

The announcement opens up the race to find her replacement, as eager – but wary – Democrats mull their options.

(Updated Feb 15 to include link to article on the 2024 Senate race.)

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: