MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minnesota politicians are reacting to the death of 90-year-old U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday.
California Sen. Feinstein was a centrist Democrat elected to the Senate in 1992 and broke gender barriers throughout her three-decade career. She was the first woman to chair Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 2009 and was the longest serving-woman senator ever, according to her website.
Among many of her notable achievements, Feinstein helped create the AMBER Alert network, fought to legalize gay marriage, and helped improve the environment and other issues in her home state of California.
"Senator Feinstein was a monumental figure in Congress and paved the way for so many women to serve in the Senate. Throughout her career she drove change — she was a one of the first women mayors of a major city, a leader against torture, a pioneer in the effort to reduce gun violence, passing the first assault weapons ban in 1994, and a champion of the Violence Against Women Act. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to serve with Senator Feinstein, and I know her legacy will endure. John and I send our deepest condolences to her family."
U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., shared on Twitter the inspirational role Feinstein has played in her own life:
"Dianne has been part of my political consciousness since I was a young woman at Stanford, watching her lead San Francisco through all the tragedy of Harvey Milk and George Moscone’s killing. She was an icon to me — for her strength, how she threw open the Senate doors for women.
"When I walked into the Senate Democratic caucus lunch for the first time in 2018 and saw her sitting there at the middle table, it was an unforgettable moment. I’m so sad to hear of her passing. It was such an honor to serve with her."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.