San Francisco Democrat Dianne Feinstein has won reelection to the U.S. Senate, defeating Republican autism activist Elizabeth Emken of Danville, according to the Associated Press.
California’s senior senator, Feinstein is expected to gain more clout in the next Congress, moving up in seniority as a result of Senate retirements.
The former San Francisco mayor was first elected to her office 20 years ago and currently is chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Emken was a relative political newcomer who could not match Feinstein’s multimillion-dollar war chest. But the mother of three, including an autistic son, had the state GOP endorsement.
California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said the party saw in her someone "who would be unafraid of taking Sen. Feinstein on on issues."
Emken wanted to debate Feinstein, but the senator demurred.
-- Lee Romney in San Francisco
Photo: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D–Calif. Credit: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call