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California political leaders offer local tributes to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein following her death

California Governor Gavin Newsom was one of many political leaders who issued statements Friday morning shortly after the announcement of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's death at the age of 90. 

Feinstein's office said she died Thursday night at her home in Washington.

Her cause was not released. The Senator had voted on Senate business earlier that day.

Newsom's statement paid tribute to her trailblazing career and the issues she championed which included gun control, abortion access, environmental protections, and a strong national defense.

Here is his complete statement:

"Dianne Feinstein was many things — a powerful, trailblazing U.S. Senator; an early voice for gun control; a leader in times of tragedy and chaos. But to me, she was a dear friend, a lifelong mentor, and a role model not only for me, but to my wife and daughters for what a powerful, effective leader looks like. "She was a political giant, whose tenacity was matched by her grace. She broke down barriers and glass ceilings, but never lost her belief in the spirit of political cooperation. And she was a fighter — for the city, the state and the country she loved. Every race she won, she made history, but her story wasn’t just about being the first woman in a particular political office, it was what she did for California, and for America, with that power once she earned it. That’s what she should be remembered for. "There is simply nobody who possessed the strength, gravitas, and fierceness of Dianne Feinstein. Jennifer and I are deeply saddened by her passing, and we will mourn with her family in this difficult time." 

California Governor Gavin Newsom

Newsom is now tasked with naming a person to fill out the rest of Feinstein's term. He's previously indicated he'd pick a black woman for the interim job so as not to influence the upcoming election in 2024 where three Congressional Democrats had already announced they're running for Feinstein's seat.

They include Katie Porter of Irvine, Adam Schiff of Los Angeles, and Barbara Lee of Oakland.

Feinstein's fellow U.S. Senator Alex Padilla released a statement after learning of her death Friday. Here are some excerpts:

“Dianne Feinstein was a towering figure not just in modern California politics, but in the history of our state and our nation." “She broke barriers throughout her career. Her leadership as the City of San Francisco’s first female mayor in the aftermath of the tragic assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk showcased her unique ability to lead with grace and strength in the face of adversity." “Following her election to the Senate over three decades ago, Dianne’s commitment to bipartisan collaboration made her a deeply respected figure on both sides of the aisle." "Her ability to bridge divides and find consensus, especially on the thorniest of issues, was a testament to her dedication to the principles of democracy." “She leaves behind a legacy of service, leadership, and a deep love for our country and our democratic ideals."

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla

Representative Raul Ruiz released a statement on the passing of Senator Feinstein:

“I am deeply saddened by the recent passing of Senator Dianne Feinstein – a trailblazer for our democracy and all of us in California and across the nation. My heart and prayers go out to her family, friends, staff, and her community,” said Dr. Ruiz. “I had the honor of working with Senator Feinstein on legislation to better the lives of our constituents’ issues like funding for the Salton Sea, improving access to the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center and creating the Sand to Snow National Monument. Her perseverance, integrity, and compassion will always be remembered in the halls of Congress, and she will be remembered across the nation as a champion for women's rights, gun violence prevention, and LGTBQ+ rights.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-25)

Congressman Ken Calvert also issued a statement on the passing of Senator Feinstein:

“Dianne Feinstein was a trailblazer and a titan in the Senate. The legacy and impact she leaves behind as one of the most effective politicians in the history of our state will continue to be felt long after her passing. Over the past three decades, I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with her on many issues, including addressing California water challenges and building transportation infrastructure in the Inland Empire. When you needed to get something done in Senate, the best call you could make was to Dianne Feinstein. Like so many from the Golden State and beyond, I deeply appreciate her many years of service and friendship, mourn her passing, and offer my condolences to her family, friends, and staff members.”

Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-41)

Stay with KESQ News Channel three for more reactions to the death of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. 

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