89-year-old US Senator Dianne Feinstein has announced her retirement from politics. "I'm announcing today that I won't be running for re-election in 2024," the Democrat said in a statement. By the end of her term next year, she wants to achieve as much as possible for the state of California, which she represents. Feinstein is currently the oldest member of the Senate.
She held numerous offices in her political career and as a woman was often a pioneer. She was the first woman mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988, and in 1992 she became the first woman to be elected to the Senate for her state of California. She was also the first woman to serve on the Judiciary Committee, as well as the first woman to chair the Rules of Procedure Committee and the Intelligence Committee.
Action to combat gun violence
In 1994, Feinstein led a ban on the manufacture of certain semi-automatic weapons for civilian use. The ban expired in 2004. Feinstein said she would remain committed to fighting the gun violence epidemic, protecting the environment and promoting economic growth.
US President Joe Biden praised her for her fight against gun violence and for environmental protection. He has worked with more US senators than almost anyone else and can honestly say "that Dianne Feinstein is one of the best". California Governor Gavin Newsom also praised Feinstein's work.
In recent years, the Democrat has repeatedly made headlines with minor missteps that have raised questions about her mental state. If, as announced, she remains in the Senate until the end of her current mandate, she would be 91 years old when she left.
In the US, elderly politicians are not uncommon in influential posts. The best example is Biden, who at 80 is the oldest president in US history. Last year, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, Republican Don Young of Alaska, died at the age of 88.
Several party colleagues have already expressed ambitions for Feinstein's Senate seat, including prominent Democratic House Representative Adam Schiff.