Several politicians from the Bay Area on Tuesday issued statements lauding the career of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who announced she is not seeking reelection next year after more than 30 years in the Senate.
Feinstein, 89, has been a trailblazing politician who was the first woman to be president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the first woman to be San Francisco's mayor and the first woman elected as a U.S. senator in California.
"I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends," Feinstein said.
"Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives. Each of us was sent here to solve problems," she said. "That's what I've done for the last 30 years, and that's what I plan to do for the next two years. My thanks to the people of California for allowing me to serve them."
Gov. Gavin Newsom, himself a former San Francisco mayor, highlighted Feinstein's history with the city, where she became mayor in 1978 after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
"The tragic events of that day led to her lifetime crusade for common-sense gun control laws, including her role as author of a federal assault weapons ban," Newsom said. "For the last 30 years, she has served her state with distinction as our senior U.S. senator, blazing a trail for a new generation of female lawmakers."
The current mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, was among other politicians to honor Feinstein in statements following her retirement announcement.
"Sen. Feinstein will leave a long legacy of legislative achievements and shattered glass ceilings that young women everywhere can look to and be inspired by as they too consider what service they can do for their country," Breed said.
California's other member of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Alex Padilla, worked as a field representative for Feinstein in the early days of his political career.
"Dianne gave me one of my first jobs in politics as a young MIT grad looking to make a difference in my community. She was the embodiment of principled leadership and taking on the difficult issues, and it's in part because of her groundbreaking career that a Latino son of immigrants could one day join her in breaking down barriers and serving alongside her," Padilla said.
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, a graduate of Monte Vista High School in Danville and Stanford University, and Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, have already announced plans to run for the Senate seat, while Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, is also rumored to be considering seeking the position. Lee acknowledged those rumors in her statement about the senator.
"While I hope we will keep the focus in these coming days on celebrating the Senator and her historic tenure in the Senate, I know there are questions about the Senate race in 2024, which I will address soon," Lee said.
"But for now, let me say I have been honored to serve beside Senator Feinstein in the California Congressional Delegation, and to the Senator, I'd like to say thank you for your enormous service to our state and country," she said.