(CBS13/AP) – Senator Dianne Feinstein has been re-elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating Democratic challenger Kevin de Leon, CBS News has projected.

The victory will help keep the state’s Democratic political order sharply intact.

De Leon argued that California deserves a new voice in Washington who is more willing to fight for progressive values, while Feinstein said she has the experience to get things done for California and a track record to prove it.

At 85, Feinstein is the oldest U.S. senator.

Feinstein was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after serving as San Francisco’s first woman mayor. She spent last week meeting with a Democratic women’s club, highlighting her efforts to protect California’s deserts and public lands and viewing a firefighting plane she helped secure for the state.

While the race was low-key, Feinstein drew the national spotlight this fall during the fiery confirmation battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. A California woman sent Feinstein a letter during the summer accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, which he denies.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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