CD11: Walnut Creek Mayor Lawson opts out of congressional bid

Walnut Creek Mayor Kristina Lawson

In yet another name of someone who will not run for the congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, Walnut Creek Mayor Kristina Lawson says she has decided not to seek the job.

Her announcement was somewhat expected. A respected landuse attorney with a 4 and 9-year-old still at home, taking on a major congressional campaign would have been a life-altering family decision. And that is before she even gets the job and begins those bicoastal treks between California and the Capitol. I suspect we’ll see and hear a good deal more of Lawson in the coming years, though.

Lawson’s departure all but clears the field for state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who declared himself a candidate within minutes of Miller’s retirement announcement.

Just about every politician who might have challenged DeSaulnier has taken his or her name off the table and many have outright endorsed the senator.

There’s still time to enter the fray, of course. The official filing period runs Feb. 10 through March 14. And the top two election system will give a second-place finisher in June a second bite at the seat in November. But time is running seriously short to raise money.

Here’s what Lawson had to say in an email this morning:

Dear Friends and Family,

I write this morning to thank you for your support and encouragement, and to let you know that I will not run for Congress in 2014.

I had the great fortune to be born and raised in California, and I want the same for my two children, Kate and Graham. And, I want to be here in California with them as they grow up.

I also have the great fortune to serve as the Mayor of Walnut Creek, and I am committed to working hard this year to honor our longstanding community commitments to a vibrant economy, the environment, and children and families of all types. I do plan to run for re-election to the Walnut Creek City Council.

Thank you again for your support and encouragement.





Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • RRSenileColumnist

    This is getting out of hand. Who’s next, Marga?

  • Marga

    I don’t know, with so many people opting out, maybe I should run. I mean, it’s not like you even need to live in the district 🙂

  • theresmoneyinthebananastand

    Come on–I read this blog very regularly and have NEVER seen an article mentioning that a male candidates’ kids as a reason they may not run. A Congressional campaign is a “life-altering family decision” for everyone, but no one seems to mention that when a man’s running.
    The same sexist idea–that it’s fine for a woman to be a politician but her first duty is as a mother–is being used against Wendy Davis in TX and countless others. Be a part of the solution.

  • Marga

    I’m not sure what your solution is, but the implication that women /shouldn’t/ put their children before their political ambitions is pretty sad. Ms. Lawson already has a day job, in addition to her responsibilities as Mayor, so it’s not like she’s a traditional woman staying at home and baking cookies (not that that is actually traditional, or in any way worthy of criticism). But being in Congress would mean either uprooting her family and having to re-establish them into a new community, or seeing her very young children just for some time on weekends. It’s a choice some men and women make, and more power to them, but it’s not one that I would make so I completely understand her reluctance to do it.

    Men may not mention family responsibilities as their main reason for not seeking an office, but it doesn’t mean it’s not part of the equation. I can tell you that what dissuaded my husband from running for Assembly was exactly that, the time it would take away from our daughters. Congress would be out of the question for that reason.

    Recognizing a woman’s commitment to her family is not sexist, but criticizing her for not making certain choices, or for being honest about the reasons for her choices, is.

  • As Ellen Corbett surely knows!