SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Senator Dianne Feinstein was declared the victor in the U.S. Senate race, beating her challenger, California Senator Kevin de Leon.

At her election party Tuesday night at the Presidio Officers Club, Senator Feinstein told a cheering crowd of supporters, “This is the greatest honor in my life.”

Feinstein has represented California for 25 years and serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She reflects on ‘The Year of the Woman’ in 1992 when she and Senator Barbara Boxer were elected from California.

“We broke the lock on power for women in the Senate in the United States,” she told the crowd. “The pride I take in seeing this institution grow, ripen and change is just enormous.”

Feinstein she was one of only 4 women in the Senate back then.

“So we are now up in the twenties and growing!” exclaimed the senator.

Feinstein says the country has been “factionalized and trivialized with rhetoric” and that people must come together.

She also says there’s more work to do to make sure women have strong representation. She serves on the Senate judiciary committee.

She’s now the ranking Democrat and led the party’s efforts against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Feinstein has not declared victory. She says she is lucky to have such a supportive constituency.

For his part, her rival de Leon said his challenge against Feinstein has been a fight for California’s future. De Leon received the Democratic Party endorsement in the election, despite Feinstein’s long history.

De Leon’s remarks to his supporters Tuesday in Los Angeles came as he trailed Feinstein by about 260,000 votes. The Associated Press has not called the race.

The 51-year-old de Leon says his campaign has given voters a choice between “new ideas and the same old, same old,” and between “progressivism and privilege.” He’s criticized Feinstein for not being aggressive enough against President Donald Trump.

De Leon says he’s disrupted a status quo that cares most about holding onto power.

More than 3.5 million votes have been counted.

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