As expected, first-term Republican Assemblyman Danny Gilmore announced today that he won't seek re-election this year, saying that though "there are those who enjoy political games and legislative intrigue. I'm just not one of them."
"If I could sum up in one word my feeling about serving in the Legislature that word would have to be frustration," he said in a statement. "This most recent phase of public service does not suit my family or me. Simply put, I do not have the temperament or personality to be a long-term politician."
The former California Highway Patrol assistant chief was the sole Republican to win a seat previously held by a Democrat in 2008. He edged out Democrat Fran Florez 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.
His re-election bid was expected to be one of the most targeted state legislative races of the 2010 cycle.
A battle for the 30th District seat has been brewing for months, with a longstanding Central Valley political family feud spicing up the Democratic primary.
The latest fight clash of the Florez and Parra clans is gearing up between Fran Florez, mother of Shafter Democratic Sen. Dean Florez and Gilmore's 2008 rival for the seat, and Pete Parra, a former Kern County supervisor whose daughter, Nicole Parra, served in the Assembly.
Alert readers will remember that Parra, also a Democrat, backed Gilmore to succeed her in the 30th Assembly seat last cycle.
In the statement announcing his retirement, Gilmore endorsed GOP farmer and businessman David Valadao's candidacy for the seat. Bakersfield businesswoman Stephanie Campbell, who previously ran for the seat as a Democrat, is also jumping in the race for the Republican nomination, according to a report by the Bakersfield Californian.