The Other Time Dianne Feinstein Retired From Politics

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Democrat Dianne Feinstein, the 89-year-old senior senator from California, announced on Feb. 14, 2023, that she will retire from the Senate rather than run for a sixth term when her current term expires at the end of 2024.

This will bring an end to an extraordinary political career, one that began when Feinstein won her first election only a few months after Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.

In recent months, several prominent California Democratic politicians, including Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, still uncertain about Feinstein’s plans, had announced their interest in running for her Senate seat. Both Schiff and Porter formally declared they were running recently. With today’s announcement, the race is on in earnest.

Some may remember what happened the last time Feinstein announced her retirement from politics — on a day that changed Dianne Feinstein and her hometown of San Francisco forever.

On Nov. 27, 1978, Feinstein, then the 45-year-old president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and two-time failed mayoral candidate, greeted reporters at City Hall by telling them she would not seek reelection to the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco’s equivalent to the city council.

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