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Boxer hints time for fellow California Democrat Feinstein to retire from Senate

The former Senator retired in 2017 at the age of 76, Feinstein is currently 88

Updated: September 10, 2021 - 9:29am

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Former Sen. Barbara Boxer says "there's a season for everything," including walking away from elected office. The 80-year-old did just that in 2017 when she was 76. Now, she's suggesting Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow California Democrat, think about doing the same.

Boxer and Feinstein were elected together to the Senate in 1992, making California the first state to elect two women to the upper chamber. But while Boxer retired nearly a term ago, Feinstein, now 88, remains in office with her term set to end in 2025. 

"If Senator Feinstein were to call me today and asked my advice, I would say only you can decide this. But from my perspective, I want you to know I've had very productive years away from the Senate doing good things," Boxer recently told the Los Angeles Times.

Democrats have for months quietly raised concerns about Feinstein and her seat, particularly after her efforts during the Senate confirmation hearings last year for now-Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

In their latest iterations, party officials are concerned that if California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom lose his recall election next week, he will be replaced by a Republican who will appointing a replacement for Feinstein if she falls ill or worse and is forced to step down from her seat. With an evenly split Senate, the stakes are theoretically high. 

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