No consensus in major races as Democrats opt not to endorse at convention

SAN DIEGO — Candidates for the U.S. Senate and California governor failed to earn the party’s official endorsement at the Democratic State Party convention on Saturday.

According to results released early Sunday, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who at 84 is the Senate’s oldest member, did not receive the 60 percent of votes necessary for an endorsement at the San Diego Convention Center this weekend.

The indecision was seen as a rejection of the incumbent Feinstein, who received 37 percent of the vote, compared to 54 percent for rival Democratic state Senator Kevin de Leon, who has launched an insurgent campaign against Feinstein.

“The outcome of today’s endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and it boosts our campaign’s momentum as we all stand shoulder to shoulder against a complacent status quo,” de Leon said in a statement released late Saturday.

Recent statewide polls show Feinstein with a sizeable lead over de Leon.

The gubernatorial vote was splintered among the top four candidates: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, an outcome that was widely expected.

Newsom received 39 percent of delegates’ votes, Chiang received 30 percent and Eastin received 20 percent. Villaraigosa came in last at 9 percent.

Candidates for state attorney general also failed to reach the 60 percent threshold in the race between incumbent Xavier Becerra, who took office in January 2017 after being appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to replace Sen. Kamala Harris, and former state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. The tally was 56 percent for Jones and 42 percent for Becerra.

An estimated 3,400 delegates have participated in the convention, which wraps up Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center. To gain an endorsement, a candidate must receive 60 percent of the votes cast.

Candidates who won endorsements included incumbent state Controller Betty Yee, state Sen. Ricardo Lara for insurance commissioner, incumbent Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma for state treasurer and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond for state superintendent of public instruction.

During Sunday’s session, the delegates will adopt the 2018 party platform and ratify endorsements for congressional and legislative races made earlier at pre-endorsing conferences and endorsement caucuses.