George Miller's retirement shakes up East Bay political picture | Tim Talk | Tim Hunt | |

Local Blogs

Tim Talk

By Tim Hunt

E-mail Tim Hunt

About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

View all posts from Tim Hunt

George Miller's retirement shakes up East Bay political picture

Uploaded: Jan 14, 2014

Politics in Contra Costa County took an interesting twist this week when long-time Congressman George Miller announced he would not seek a 21st term. Elected to Congress when he was 29 years old, he is the 5th most senior member of the House of Representatives.
His district is solidly Democrat so it will set off an interesting dynamic, particularly because there is no requirement that members of Congress live within the district before they run.
For instance, when Ellen Tauscher stepped down from her Congressional seat to accept a role in the Dept. of Energy dealing with nuclear weapons, that race drew sitting state Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, newly elected Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan and sitting state Senator Mark DeSaulnier. Garamendi prevailed and is in Congress today.
Buchanan is termed out of the Assembly this year and DeSaulnier's term runs until 2016 in the state Senate. After Miller's announcement, he withdrew from consideration for the top job in the Senate to focus his attention on the Congressional race.
For Buchanan, who likely has ambitions for the state Senate in two more years (although fellow Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla also likely is eying that seat), there's little to lose by taking another run at the Congressional office. With no federal term limits and seats that are still quite safe for one party, a House seat generally is a lifetime job. Look at Nancy Pelosi or Barbara Lee here in the Bay Area.
The California open primary changes the dynamic so a challenge from within the same party can succeed—witness Eric Swalwell denying octogenarian Pete Stark his 21st term (maybe George got the message, although he is 69, young by long-time Congressional member standards). Swalwell faces his own intra-party challenge this year when termed-out state Senator Ellen Corbett challenges him in the June Primary.
The same goes across the bay for Rep. Mike Honda, 73, who is facing younger upstart Ro Khanna, who is in his mid-30s.


There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Follow this blogger (Receive an email when blogger makes a new post)


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Tri-Valley cities rank high in poll
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 662 views

Question credibility, corroboration before condemnation
By | 3 comments | 451 views

What You Need to Do Before Your Child Goes to College
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 301 views