So much for an “annointment” — Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, today announced she too is entering the prospective race to succeed Rep. Ellen Tauscher in the 10th Congressional District, should Tauscher be confirmed to the State Department post to which she has been nominated.
“We cannot be timid or formulaic. If we do what we’ve been doing in government, we will get more of the same. These times require leaders with solid financial skills, a willingness to be bold and the creativity to shape and select the right innovations,” Buchanan wrote in a letter e-mailed to to friends and supporters and posted on her campaign Web site. “Those are the qualities you told me were right for the times last November when you sent me to Sacramento. I am grateful for your support. Now, I have a rare chance to shape our nation’s future in ways we hadn’t anticipated.”
Buchanan has been eyeing the race since Tauscher’s nomination last month; her formal declaration of candidacy comes one day after that of Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, who has shifted his ambitions from the 2010 gubernatorial race to CD-10. Both have thrown their hats into the ring after state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, secured endorsements from Tauscher, Rep. George Miller and most of Contra Costa County’s labor groups.
UPDATE @ 2:15 P.M. THURSDAY: I just spoke with Buchanan.
“We actually made the decision the end of last week,” Buchanan said Thursday afternoon. “I’m running for Congress more than I’m running against Mark or against John or against anyone else who jumps into the race … because there are many issues I care deeply about.”
Foremost among those would be the sorry state of California’s education and health care, she said. “I believe the voters are entitled to a vigorous debate on these issues and the other issues that affect their lives on a daily basis, I look forward to a competitive race.”
Buchanan said she’s “prepared to put in the time and the effort it takes” to win.
“I’ve got a great campaign consultant in Mary Hughes – she’s the one who helped Ellen win the district in 1996 and again in 1998,” Buchanan said. “This will be my 17th campaign in 21 years, and I really believe in grassroots efforts … and we’re going to start releasing a list of our supporters over the next few weeks.”
“I recognize that in many ways I’m the new kid on the block – I’ve only been in state government for less than a year, but I also know what its like to be a parent – I’ve been a single parent of five children since 1992,” she noted. Combine that with her extensive education experience as a school board member, her expertise in business finance and operations and her strong work ethic, and she’s the right person for the job, she contended.
Read the full text of Buchanan’s letter, after the jump…
This isn’t the Spring I expected!
There are times in our lives when an opportunity knocks quite unexpectedly. This happened last month when Congresswoman Tauscher was nominated to serve as an Undersecretary in the US State Department.
After consulting with hundreds of community leaders, voters, elected colleagues and activists across our region; after considering the extraordinary financial challenges facing the country; and after carefully evaluating where I can make the most significant contribution, I have decided that I will be a candidate for Congress in our district.
How we respond to the current economic crisis will determine our nation’s quality of life and our capacity for growth for decades. This moment for dramatic restructuring in our public school system and for vastly improved health care services may not come again in our lifetime.
Our people live with the greatest income disparity in eighty years. Families have lost their homes and many face mounting credit card debt. Banks and financial institutions must be called to account. And we must rebuild an economy that rewards productivity and invention, while opening more opportunities to join the middle class.
The challenges are formidable and time is short.
We cannot be timid or formulaic. If we do what we’ve been doing in government, we will get more of the same. These times require leaders with solid financial skills, a willingness to be bold and the creativity to shape and select the right innovations.
Those are the qualities you told me were right for the times last November when you sent me to Sacramento. I am grateful for your support. Now, I have a rare chance to shape our nation’s future in ways we hadn’t anticipated.
Please join me. Together, we can do great things.