SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Former President Barack Obama is backing U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein for re-election as she faces a challenge from within the Democratic party. The California senator released a statement Friday from Obama. Obama calls Feinstein “one of America’s most effective champions for progress.” He says the two have been partners in fighting for affordable health care, protecting against climate change and gun safety. Feinstein is seeking her fifth full term in Washington. She’s challenged by state Sen. Kevin de Leon, a fellow Democrat who says she hasn’t done enough to stand up to the Trump administration. The primary is June 5, and the two highest vote getters advance to the general election regardless of party. De Leon’s campaign didn’t immediately comment on the Obama endorsement.