CD11: Buchanan will endorse rather than challenge DeSaulnier

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, is endorsing rather than challenging state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, in the race for Contra Costa County’s largest congressional district.

DeSaulnier hopes to succeed retiring Rep. George Miller of Martinez, who will leave office at the end of the year after serving 40 years in the House of Representatives.

District 11 encompasses north and central Contra Costa County, stretching from Richmond to Pittsburg along the shoreline and southward through Lamorinda, Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Clayton, Alamo and Danville.  See map here.

Buchanan’s departure from the District 11 field is the latest in a series of potential challengers who have instead opted to endorse the senator including Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson of Pittsburg and Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord.

Buchanan was DeSaulnier’s most serious potential opponent. She and DeSaulnier both ran unsuccessfully in 2009 against then-Lt. Gov. John Garamendi for the neighboring congressional seat vacated by Ellen Tauscher.

“I’m pleased to support Mark DeSaulnier for Congress,” Buchanan said in a prepared statement from his campaign. “Mark and I share a common goal of improving California’s schools and making our K-12, community colleges, and universities the best in the nation. I’m confident that Mark will be a strong advocate for our students and families in Congress.”

The assemblywoman and former San Ramon Valley School board member will term out of office this year. Now that she has ruled out a congressional bid, she is expected to run for DeSaulnier’s senate seat.

DeSaulnier terms out in 2016 but if he is elected to Congress this fall, a special election will be set for March 2015 to fill the remainder of his term.

The senator’s campaign also released other endorsements including Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover. Other new names on the list include:

  • Antioch Mayor Wade Harper
  • Former Antioch Mayor Donald Freitas
  • Antioch City Council member Monica Wilson
  • Orinda City Council member Amy Worth
  • Orinda City Council member Victoria Smith
  • Former Richmond Mayor Jim McMillan
  • Former Richmond Mayor Erma Anderson
  • Pleasant Hill Vice-Mayor Ken Carlson
  • Pleasant Hill City Council member David Durant
  • Clayton City Council member & Former Mayor Julie Pierce
  • El Cerrito Mayor Janet Abelson
  • El Cerrito City Council member Mark Friedman

Lisa Vorderbrueggen