July 19, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein returned Saturday to her hometown for the final time when a military jet carrying the late Democratic senator’s body landed at San Francisco International Airport.

The long-serving senator and political trailblazer died Thursday at her home in Washington, D.C., after a series of illnesses. At 90, she was the oldest member of Congress after first being elected to the Senate in 1992.

The arrival of her body was not open to the public. No details have been shared about services.

The former San Francisco mayor was a passionate advocate for priorities important to her state, including environmental protection, reproductive rights and gun control. But she also was known as a pragmatic, centrist lawmaker who reached out to Republicans and sought middle ground.

Her death was followed by a stream of tributes from around the nation, including from President Joe Biden, who served with Feinstein for years in the Senate and called her “a pioneering American” and a “cherished friend.”

California’s junior senator, Democrat Alex Padilla, called her “a towering figure — not just in modern California history, but in the history of our state and our nation.”

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters said Feinstein “spent her entire career breaking glass ceilings and opening doors into areas that had been perpetually dominated by men.”

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to soon appoint a replacement for the vacant Senate seat.

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