Contra Costa County Supervisor Susan Bonilla has had a change of heart and says she will run for state Assembly in 2010 after all.
Bonilla had said she would not seek the office despite widespread expectation that she wanted the job. Her teen-aged daughter will be a senior in high school in 2010 and Bonilla worried that a campaign would take too much time away from her family.
“I have my family’s full support and I feel that as a former teacher, mayor and a county supervisor, I have experience to bring to Sacramento,” Bonilla said.
Bonilla must have figured out what most parents know: Teenagers don’t really want you around. (That was a joke, people. I raised four children.)
Bonilla says she will not actively start the campaign until later in the year. She has plenty on her plate at the county these days, with massive budget short-falls and labor negotiations.
But she goes into the campaign with a huge advantage: The endorsements of state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch.
She has been viewed as the heir apparent for some time and when she took her name out of contention, numerous folks called up Torlakson and DeSaulnier. The met the two legislators for coffee and the big sell: Martinez Councilmen Mark Ross and Mike Menesini, Pittsburg Councilman Sal Evola and Antioch Councilman Brian Kalinowski. (Contra Costa superintendent of schools Joe Ovick had considered it but recently changed his mind.)
This is a significant election. The person who wins in 2010 has a strong chance to serve in public office for 12 years. If Bonilla were to win the the Assembly seat and remain for six years, she would term out at the same time that DeSaulnier will finish his two terms in the Senate. That puts her in a prime position to run for the open Senate seat.