CONTACT: Jonathan Underland //

LOS ANGELES, CA – Tonight, Kevin de León spoke to friends, family, and supporters gathered in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate his primary bid for U.S. Senate, sharing his vision to expand the California Dream.

Thank you, friends, family, fellow Californians.

Last year, you joined me in an unlikely but righteous journey.

For the first time in our lifetimes, America’s highest level of government had been overcome by the lowest common denominator.

California’s people and progress were under assault.

The old ways weren’t working.

The old wounds were reopening.

So ordinary Californians decided to try something extraordinary by taking on the Washington establishment.

We decided it was time to stop biding our time, biting our tongue and playing at the margins.

It was time for California to demand a representative in the United States Senate who truly represents California values.

We decided to give voters a real choice – between new ideas and the same old/same old, between progressivism and privilege, between audacity and accommodation.

And, over the course of this campaign, that’s exactly what we’ve done.

And, tonight – while the votes are still being counted – and the results are far from certain – it’s clear that we’ve done what we needed to do.

A majority of Californians want new leadership in Washington.

And that – in November –voters will have the opportunity to send a message to Washington, and around the world that the system is broken, the status quo is failing, and the future is now.

I want to begin by thanking each and every person who has guided the path in front of me throughout my career and stood behind me over the course of this campaign.

Every working family. Every teacher, janitor, housekeeper and nurse. Every labor union.

Every community organizer and civil rights champion.

Californians from every walk of life.

From day one, this was a grass-roots, people-powered effort.

We knew it would be an uphill climb.

I don’t have personal riches nor an incumbent’s name ID.

But I’ve faced long odds my entire life.

As a Latino latchkey kid of a single immigrant mother – who grew up in a one-room  barrio basement -- I’m not just a proponent of the California Dream, I’m a product of it.

And I’ve learned that, in California, anything is possible if you’re willing to stand up and fight for it.

But you can’t just watch from the sidelines – you have to lead from the frontlines.

As a leader in the most productive state legislative body in America, I’m proud to have helped secure the  highest minimum wage and the fairest pay equity law, the most ambitious clean air and climate protections, a secure retirement plan for millions of workers who don’t have one, and the strictest gun safety laws in the nation. And we made it the law of our land to treat human beings with humanity.

We don’t rip innocent children out of the trembling hands of their mothers and fathers. No matter the place of your birth or the hue of your skin, you have the right to live in California in safety, with dignity, and, yes, sanctuary.

We have never been fooled into believing Donald Trump “can be a good President.” And we will never, ever, ever build a wall.

While Washington is crashing and burning, California is moving forward – farther, faster and fairer – than ever before.

We are America’s better angels. And we have taken flight.

This race is a fight for California’s future.

In many ways, we’ve already won.

Because we’ve already defined the issues – on immigration, the death penalty, cannabis legislation and criminal justice reform.

But here’s the difference – I’m no liberal-come-lately. My politics have always been more toe-to-toe than finger-in-the-wind.

And you will never have to guess where I stand: I stand for everyday Californians struggling to afford the rising costs of housing, health care, child care, and college tuition.

You won’t have to wonder whether I’d vote to allow federal agents to spy on Americans without warrants – or to prosecute 13-year-olds as adults.

You won’t have to wonder whether I will demand freedom from fossil fuel dependency and be your champion on Medicare-for-All.

You’ll also know that I will NEVER vote for unending wars costing tens of thousands of Americans lives and trillions of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

My friends, real leadership is doing the right thing even when no one is watching – or running against you in an election.

I will be the real deal. The leader California demands. The fighter California deserves.

Now, the real race begins. The choice will be narrowed from 32 down to two. November will bring higher turnout, a more diverse electorate, and far greater focus on the importance of this race.

We have a lot of race left to run. I have never been more committed to giving every Californian a real opportunity to succeed.

And I promise you this – if our ticket is punched to the top two in November, I don’t intend on coming in second.

Que Dios Bendiga California! God bless the state we love, California!