Elections

SLO County voted Democrat for the Senate — but this time, they didn’t pick Feinstein

Feinstein vs. de León: What do Democrats stand for in Congress today?

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her challenger, fellow Democrat Kevin de León, differed over the role of Democrats in Congress with Republicans in control there and in the White House.
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U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her challenger, fellow Democrat Kevin de León, differed over the role of Democrats in Congress with Republicans in control there and in the White House.

He ultimately lost — but San Luis Obispo County actually favored Senate candidate Kevin de Léon over incumbent Dianne Feinstein in Tuesday’s election.

Based on preliminary numbers (the final tallies likely won’t be figured for weeks) de Léon narrowly led with 50.4 percent of the SLO County vote, compared with Feinstein’s 49.6 percent.

That’s a difference of about 569 votes.

Statewide, Feinstein had a much larger lead, with 54.3 percent of the state vote, compared with his 45.7 percent. With the victory, Feinstein secured her fifth term representing California in the Senate.

San Luis Obispo County was the only Central Coast county to favor de Léon, according to a New York Times election roundup map.

The map showed Feinstein won most of her support in Bay Area cities, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as coastal counties.

Both candidates are Democrats, which also likely factored in the total votes cast locally in the race.

Of the 81,440 total votes cast in SLO County, only 67,658 voters weighed in on the Senate race. In contrast, 80,334, voted in the governor race, which pit Democrat Gavin Newsom against Republican John Cox.

The returns showed a similar drop in votes in the race for lieutenant governor, which also featured two Democrats.

According to the Sacramento Bee, de Léon — a state senator — unsuccessfully “tried to present himself as part of a new, more progressive generation willing to fight for liberal values on climate change, immigration and health care.”

Feinstein, conversely, emphasized her experience in office, drawing on her California political career that began in 1969, the Bee reported.

Final tallies for the votes will not be released for several days, or even possibly weeks, as provisional ballots and remaining mail-in ballots are still being counted across the state.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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