It didn't take long for State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to throw his hat in the ring for a bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. George Miller.
Miller (D-Martinez) announced on Monday morning that he decided to retire from office after serving 40 years in Congress. By early afternoon, DeSaulnier announced he'd run for Miller's 11th district congressional seat, which is up for election next year.
In announcing the election bid, DeSaulnier promised to continue the work done by the man he hopes to replace, whom he said he'd worked with at various levels of government for 20 years. DeSaulnier called Miller one of California's "strongest champions of working people and the middle class."
"I've always greatly admired Rep. Miller's tireless work ethic, his dedication to the residents of his district, along with his deep devotion and perseverance in fighting for the progressive values and issues that matter most to Californians," DeSaulnier said. "Rep. Miller will be missed, but his legacy of working to create good jobs, increase access to healthcare, improve our schools, and help California flourish in a global economy, will live on forever."
DeSaulnier's state senate district (which includes Danville) covers about 70 percent of Miller's, so he has some name recognition as he begins his campaign.
This will be DeSaulnier's second bid for Congress, having lost in the 2009 special Democratic primary for the old District 10 seat prior to redistricting.
He said he's ready to hit the ground running this time around, with some specific issues already on his agenda.
"I'm running for Congress to help bring an end to the brinkmanship and gridlock in Washington," DeSaulnier said, "so that we can move forward with President Obama's agenda of creating more good paying jobs, growing our middle class, investing in our infrastructure, increasing access to healthcare, advancing the use of renewable and homegrown energy, enhancing our education systems, and making the United States a leader in innovation around the globe."
DeSaulnier received his first significant public endorsement Tuesday afternoon, with a vote of support from California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
"Mark knows this district intimately, and will bring to the job more than 20 years of experience working on local and state issues ranging from education to job creation, healthcare access to energy production, infrastructure improvements to protecting working people and much more," Torlakson said. "He has my full support."
Before serving in the State Senate's 7th district, DeSaulnier represented California's 11th State Assembly district. He also served as a Contra Costa County supervisor and member of Concord City Council.