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DeSaulnier gains early support for congressional bid

San Ramon's state senator receives endorsements from assemblywoman, ex-congresswoman Monday

State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) continues to receive political support early on in his congressional bid.

DeSaulnier, who seeks to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), picked up an endorsement from ex-Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher on Monday -- the 10th public vote of confidence he's gotten from current or former elected officials since announcing his campaign last week.

No other candidates have publicly thrown their hat into the ring for the 11th Congressional District seat, which is up for election this year. Miller, 68, said on Jan. 13 he plans to retire after his current term -- his 20th in Congress.

"Mark DeSaulnier has always been a brave, forward-thinking and passionate fighter for the people he represents," Tauscher said in a statement. "Mark is deeply connected to the communities in the 11th District, and I'm confident he'll be a bold and progressive voice for them in Washington."

Tauscher, an Alamo Democrat, served in the House of Representatives for more than 12 years before resigning in 2009 to join the U.S. State Department. About half of her old district -- prior to redistricting in 2012 -- lies within the current 11th District.

"(Tauscher's) early support means a lot to me, and it underscores the fact that my campaign is off to a running start," DeSaulnier, 61, said. "Washington is broken and residents are tired of the obstructionism. If elected, I'll work hard, day and night, to advance pragmatic policies that reflect a pro-jobs, pro-middle class and pro-California agenda."

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), whose district includes part of the 11th Congressional District, also endorsed DeSaulnier on Monday, calling him a devoted visionary who "has been one of the most effective elected leaders to represent Contra Costa County in local and state government."

DeSaulnier previously served on the Concord City Council, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and California State Assembly.

To date, DeSaulnier has also received public endorsements from U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Contra Costa County supervisors John Gioia and Federal Glover, and State Sens. Ellen Corbett (D-Hayward), Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lois Wolk (D-Davis).

This marks DeSaulnier's second bid for Congress.

He received several key endorsements, including from Tauscher and Miller, in 2009 when he entered the race to serve the old 10th District after Tauscher's resignation, but he lost in the special primary election. Fellow Democrat John Garamendi eventually won the seat.

DeSaulnier has served in the State Senate since 2008 and currently represents the 7th District, which consists of portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, including San Ramon.

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