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2018 electionCalifornia Democrats

Mayor Eric Garcetti to host reelection fundraiser for Sen. Dianne Feinstein

 (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

Mayor Eric Garcetti is hosting a fundraiser for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and says the senior senator's stature is needed in Washington more than ever before.

“Senator Feinstein is not just principled, she is powerful,” Garcetti wrote in an invitation to the fundraiser, which he is cohosting with his wife, Amy Wakeland. “In this topsy-turvy world of the Trump administration, we need her seniority and her experience now, more than ever.”

Feinstein, first elected to the Senate a quarter-century ago, has not yet announced her 2018 plans. She is facing some criticism among some liberals that she is not progressive enough to represent California.

The 84-year-old is widely expected to seek reelection and has been fundraising. Polling shows that Feinstein remains popular with the state’s voters, but that they are also open to a fresh face.

There is talk among Democrats about a primary challenge from her left. Any Democrat running against Feinstein would face an exceedingly difficult battle. She has enormous advantages, including her fundraising ability, her capability to self-fund a campaign and her strong relationships with the state’s most influential political groups and leaders.

Garcetti nodded toward the potential of a primary challenge in the invitation, saying the state’s Democrats must focus on competitive congressional races as the party tries to win control of the U.S. House.

“That’s where our focus should be, which means we must support Senator Feinstein early and in a big way. We cannot afford a primary — that would be the biggest gift we could give to the White House and the GOP,” the invitation reads.

If Feinstein opted against a reelection bid, Garcetti is among the ambitious Democratic elected officials in the state who would be expected to seriously consider running for the seat.

The fundraising reception is scheduled for Oct. 10 at the Beverly Hills home of Erika Glazer, a philanthropist and the daughter of the late shopping mall magnate Guillford Glazer.

Other hosts include former Walt Disney Co. chief Michael Eisner and his wife, Jane; former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing and her husband, director William Friedkin; major Democratic donor Hope Warschaw; and Rick Jacobs, a prominent Democratic fundraiser, top Garcetti political advisor and the founder of the Courage Campaign.

Donors are being asked to contribute between $100 and $5,400.

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