Senate leader endorses DeSaulnier for Congress

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has thrown his support behind Sen. Mark DeSaulnier’s bid to replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher, the Alamo congresswoman who has accepted a position with the U.S. State Department.

The endorsement was expected. Steinberg and DeSaulnier are strong allies. Steinberg’s early endorsement of DeSaulnier for the state Senate seat helped dissuade potential competitors from running against DeSaulnier, particularly former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla.

The other side of this discussion, though, is what Steinberg will do to fill DeSaulnier’s numerous assignments in the Senate, particularly his post as leader of the Senate Labor Committee and his work on the committee considering reforms to the prison system.

Running a potentially competitive congressional campaign is not something you do in your spare time. DeSaulner, who lives in Concord, says he will begin walking neighborhoods in congressional District 10 as early as this week.

In the meantime, DeSaulnier says he will continue with his work in the Senate, and he and Steinberg will revisit his assignments when Tauscher officially resigns and the clock begins to tick toward a special congressional election.

Here is the press release about the endorsement:

SACRAMENTO–California State Senate President Pro Tempore Steinberg has declared his support for Senator Mark DeSaulnier to succeed Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher for the Tenth Congressional District of California should the seat become available.

Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, has accepted a post in the Obama administration as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Senator DeSaulnier has been a key member of my leadership team in the Senate. Mark DeSaulnier has served as an able chair of both the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations and the Senate Budget Subcommittee on State Administration. He was well prepared to take these roles upon his election last year.

“Mark DeSaulnier’s nearly 20-year career in public service has covered a wide range of issues–from his decade on the California Air Resources Board reducing greenhouse gases, to his 13 years improving health care and human services while serving on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, to his chairmanship of the Assembly Transportation Committee and membership on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, to his strident career-long support for working families.

“State Senator Mark DeSaulnier has always fought for strong progressive values coupled with responsible fiscal management and restraint. I know he will ably serve the people of the Tenth Congressional District should Congresswoman Tauscher be confirmed and her seat become available,” said Steinberg.

To date, DeSaulnier is the only potential candidate for the Tenth Congressional District to receive public endorsements. President Pro Tempore Steinberg joins Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, Congressman George Miller and State Assemblymember Tom Torlakson in endorsing DeSaulnier’s potential run for Congress.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen