SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - California's senior Senator and her challenger met today face to face for the first and only time before the midterm elections. The two candidates agree on a wide range of topics, but they differ on how to take those positions to Washington, D.C.
State Senator Kevin de Leon wants to take a stronger position in Washington, D.C. pushing for Californian values. While senator Dianne Feinstein says with republican control in the house, senate and presidency, there's little Democrats can do.
In their one and only face to face encounter before the November elections state senator Kevin de Leon and Dianne Feinstein agreed on a wide range of issues.
On climate change and immigration reform they see eye to eye. "I do agree with Senator Feinstein," said de Leon.
Sen. de Leon touted California’s tight gun control regulations and said California should have pushed harder under President Obama to renew the assault weapons ban. Sen. Feinstein agreed.
"About the missed opportunity," asked Sen. Feinstein. "I don't think we disagree on this."
The differences come in approach de Leon said it's time for California Democrats to lead and raise important issues in Washington. "I don't believe we can move progress forward if the status quo keeps resisting the resistance the progress here in California," said Sen. de Leon. "I do believe it's time for a new approach, I do believe it's time for a new voice and its time for a change."
Sen. Feinstein highlighted her record. But, said there's little democrats can do since republicans effectively have a lock on power with control over the house, senate and presidency. "If you can lock open, and create a majority of the opposition party, the democratic party, in one of these houses, you break that dynamic," said Sen. Feinstein. "And that is what I hope will happen on this election day."
After the debate Sen. Feinstein said she is working within the system for California values. "I sure support for them, and Senator Harris does as well. Now, that's 100% of your representation in the Senate. So, you got both senators clearly on the side of change."
While Sen. de Leon said he favors more action on all fronts. "I just see an attitude of defeatism, I want to give hope and inspiration to many folks who are vulnerable, LGBTQUI members, African American community members, immigrant family members," said Sen. de Leon.
Sen. de Leon has been pushing for more debates Sen. Feinstein said her busy schedule makes that all but impossible.
Recent polling shows Sen. Feinstein with a double digit lead. Many Republican voters are expected to sit out this race between Democrats.