Buchanan follows Garamendi into the fray in the 10 CD

ALAMO — Not able to withstand the mighty gravitational pull that
is the chance of attaining higher office, freshman Assembly Member

Joan Buchanan
announced Thursday that she too would be vying to replace U.S. Rep.
Ellen Tauscher, who has accepted an appointment as Undersecretary of
State in the Obama Administration.

Elected last November to represent the 15th Assembly District,
Buchanan (D-Alamo), said the opportunity was just too good to pass up.

“After consulting with hundreds of community leaders, voters,
elected colleagues and activists across our region; after considering
the extraordinary financial challenges facing the country; and after
carefully evaluating where I can make the most significant
contribution, I have decided that I will be a candidate for Congress in
our district,” Buchanan said in a statement. “The challenges are
formidable and time is short. We cannot be timid or formulaic. If we do
what we’ve been doing in government, we will get more of the same.
These times require leaders with solid financial skills, a willingness
to be bold and the creativity to shape and select the right
innovations. Those are the qualities you told me were right for the
times last November when you sent me to Sacramento. I am grateful for
your support. Now, I have a rare chance to shape our nation’s future in
ways we hadn’t anticipated.”

While Tauscher still must hurdle U.S. Senate confirmation, the race
to fill her 10th Congressional District shifted this week from a casual
trot to a full sprint with two other powerful candidates, Lt. Gov.
John Garamendi and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier are gunning for the post. A special election for the seat is to be scheduled sometime this summer, officials said.

Up until Garamendi made his announcement Wednesday, DeSaulnier
was the identified front-runner in the race, having locked up the
endorsements of the outgoing Tauscher, the Contra Costa County Central
Labor Council and U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez).

Follow Jeff Mitchell at his Bay Area-focused political blog,