Emken will take on Sen. Dianne Feinstein in fall
Danville autism activist Elizabeth Emken squeaked past 22 other challengers to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday and will face the popular, well-financed lawmaker in November.
None of the aspiring Feinstein challengers -- 14 Republicans, five Democrats and members of four minor parties -- had much money or name recognition except Laguna Niguel dentist and lawyer Orly Taitz, who earned a measure of fame from her attempts to show that President Obama was not born in the United States.
Emken won backing from the state GOP and from several of the state's Republican elected officials and made campaign stops throughout the state. She had raised the most money of any of the challengers, a little more than $300,000, federal records showed.
Feinstein, who is seeking her fourth full term in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 44% to 30%, with 21% of voters unaffiliated, had raised more than $9 million.
While Feinstein is expected to win handily in the fall, a challenger who makes a reasonably strong showing could build name recognition and credibility for a future race.
-- Jean Merl
Photo: Voters cast their ballots in voting booths in Venice in 2010. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times