Kevin de León Launches U.S. Senate Bid; Booster Of California Film & TV Tax Credits

Screenshot via KTLA

Kevin de León wants to be the next U.S. senator from the Golden State. The Democratic leader of the California Senate, who got the state’s expanded film and TV tax credits bill over the political finish line in 2014, today officially kicked off his campaign to unseat longtime incumbent Dianne Feinstein.

The veteran pol represents Los Angeles’ 24th District, and Deadline hears that he is liked by studio people. He was at L.A. Trade Technical College to get his run started today — the same day that FilmLA released its report showing that on-location filming in greater L.A. fell for a third consecutive quarter. “The D.C. playbook is obsolete,” he told supporters, a sentiment he also laid out in a tweet today:

De León was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee when L.A.-area Assemblymen Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra introduced the bill to expand California’s Film and TV Tax Credit Program. It passed the final committee in August 2014  at the initial figure of $400 million a year but was reduced to $330 million two weeks later and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown the following month. It took effect the following summer.

Three weeks ago, the California Film Commission  said the expanded credits program  has generated an additional $1.4 billion in wages for below-the-line crew members during its first two years.

De León will challenge the 84-year-old Feinstein from her left, believing that she is too soft on many progressive issues. And on President Donald Trump.

“Every day this president wages war on our people and our progress,” de León said at today’s event. “He mocks our values and demonizes our diversity. He attacks our national fabric. He erodes our major freedoms here and at home and our moral standing in the rest of the world. In the face of this threat, we can no longer afford to be polite or patient, conciliatory or complacent. We can’t cross our fingers and hope that Trump can learn and change.”

De León has served as California’s Senate President Pro Tem since October 2014 but will be termed out next year.

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