Longtime Congress member has been a strong supporter of Democratic Leader Pelosi
by Brian Leubitz
These days, it seems that some Congress members are being forced out at the end of their careers. (See Pete Stark…) George Miller probably had no reason to worry about that, as he had no competion and remains popular inside and outside of his district. But today, Rep. Miller decided that 2014 will be his last year in the House:
California Rep. George Miller, Nancy Pelosi’s strong right arm and one of the top Democratic legislators of his generation, is stepping down at the end of this year after four decades in Congress.(Politico)
While the Dem on Dem fighting is often overhyped and sensationalized, George Miller truly was the heart and soul of Team Pelosi. He was supportive every step of the way, but Miller was no mere water carrier for Pelosi; he has his own, very impressive legislative record:
As such Miller was a player in the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 as well as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 backed by then President George W. Bush and the future Speaker John Boehner. Miller helped write the last minimum wage increase with Sen. Kennedy in 2007, and through the years used his committees as a forum to highlight worker safety conditions in the coal, oil and apparel industries.
In the arena of Western lands and the environment, Miller could be as powerful for saying no as yes. He took pride in his role behind the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 impacting the distribution of fresh water supplies in California. But he will probably be remembered more nationally for tearing up the railroad track to impede Western Republicans, who took the gavel from him in the Resources Committee in 1995 and set about trying to undo environmental laws he had championed.(Politico)
The seat is a very Democratic one, and will likely lead to a frenzy in June, and a possible Dem-on-Dem general election in November depending how the candidate field shakes down. There are a number of strong candidates in the area, expect the Around the Capitol page to fill up quickly. However, off the top of my head, this could move one of the State Senate Candidates running in SD-07, Susan Bonilla and Joan Buchanan. Current SD-07 occupant Mark DeSaulnier could also consider the race as he is termed out of the Senate. Tom Torlakson is also in (or very close to) the district as well, but he seems pretty committed to his re-election campaign for State Superintendent of Instruction.
UPDATE: And just like that, Sen DeSaulnier says he is in.
CA state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier @SenDeSaulnier just told me he plans to run for Congressman George Miller's seat
— Laurel Rosenhall (@LaurelRosenhall) January 13, 2014