State Sen. Noreen Evans to retire in 2014

State Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, said Monday she won’t seek a second term in 2014.

As with any prematurely vacant legislative seat, Evans’ decision to leave public life is sure to touch off a flood of campaigns to succeed her.

Noreen EvansAfter 20 years in public office including 10 in the Legislature, “Sacramento is not my home and politics not how I planned to spend my life,” she said in a statement Monday. “Though I enjoyed my job as a lawmaker, my first love is the administration of justice. I will leave the Legislature next year at the end of my term to return to my private law practice.”

Evans, 58, said she’s “immeasurably grateful for the faith, trust and support of our great community and the hard work of my dedicated staff.”

She touted accomplishments including writing the nation’s first Homeowner Bill of Rights, improving the state’s foster-care system, protecting the coastline, keeping state parks open, updating regulation of the state’s wine industry, preserving the California Environmental Quality Act and more. She served stints as chair of the senate’s judiciary and budget committees, too.

“As I return to private practice, I will continue to be a strong advocate for progressive values, working families, equal protection and justice for all,” Evans said. “We have seen California through unprecedented challenges. I hope my efforts over the past two decades have contributed in some small measure to a better future for us all.”

Evans’ 2nd Senatorial District currently includes all or parts of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties. Due to redistricting, the lines will be somewhat different in 2014.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.