California state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier quickly launched his campaign Monday to replace retiring Rep. George Miller.
The 20-term incumbent announced earlier in the day that he would not seek another term, opening a safe Democratic seat that could attract a number of ambitious contenders.
“I plan to hit the ground running hard in this campaign,” DeSaulnier said in a statement. “I am ready to run and ready to serve the people of the 11th District.”
The district stretches inland from the East Bay and includes most of Contra Costa County. President Barack Obama won 68 percent of the vote there in 2012.
According to the DeSaulnier campaign, his state Senate district overlaps with 70 percent of the congressional district. DeSaulnier previously served in the state Assembly, as a Contra Costa County Supervisor and as a Concord city councilman.
Other potential candidates mentioned in the immediate aftermath of Miller’s surprise retirement announcement on Monday included state Assemblywomen Joan Buchanan and Susan Bonilla.
DeSaulnier and Buchanan ran in a special election for an open congressional seat in 2009. Both lost to Democrat John Garamendi, who, after redistricting, now represents the 3rd district. Miller endorsed DeSaulnier in that race, and his endorsement will undoubtedly be highly sought after this year.
The all-party primary is scheduled for June 3. The filing deadline is March 7.