No sooner than the George Miller retirement announcement today after 40 years in Congress (CA-11) that potential candidates for Miller’s safe Democratic seat began raising their hands. According to numerous reports, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (Concord-CA) has thrown his hat in the ring saying he had always’ planned to run for the seat once Miller retired.
Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, told The Sacramento Bee he expected to run for the 11th Congressional District.
“I’m playing phone tag with him right now. George is a really good friend,” DeSaulnier said. “I wish him well and I would love to replace him in Congress. “It was always my intention to run.”
According to The Bee, Miller, one of the few remaining lawmakers elected in the Watergate era, said he was grateful to have chaired three committees over the last four decades and authored major laws affecting education, labor and health policy, and the protection of natural resources.
“This is a great institution and I cannot thank my family and my constituents enough for having given me the honor and privilege of representing my district in Congress these past 40 years,” Miller said. “I have tried to repay them for their confidence by working hard every day to make our country a better place. I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on behalf of children, working people and the environment, in my district and for our country, especially passage of national health care reform. Now, I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me. What a wonderful experience this has been.”
State Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, also of Concord, stated:
“George Miller has proudly represented his constituents in Contra Costa County for over 40 years in Congress. In his exemplary service as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he wrote or co-wrote many of the significant laws that brought health care to the uninsured, improved wages for working families, helped students pay down their student loans, and protected California’s natural resources from development. His dedication to his constituents and leadership that he provided for Contra Costa County and California will be truly missed.”
We doubt DeSaulnier will be the only candidate. In a very blue 11th Congressional District, the leading Democrat candidate to emerge most likely will win the seat. Other possible candidates might include termed out Democrat Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, who could run as a moderate against DeSaulnier’s close ties to union pension giveaways and storied mismanagement of Contra Costa County finances as its District IV Supervisor circa 1994 prior to his rise to the State Assembly in 2006.