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State Sen. Michael Rubio announced today that he will not run for Congress next year after all.

The 34-year-old East Bakersfield Democrat had been eying a bid for the newly drawn 21st Congressional District in which Democrats hold a 10 percentage point advantage in voter registration.

Rubio, elected to the Senate last year, said he looks forward to staying in the Legislature, where he is eligible to serve seven more years and is not slated for re-election until 2014.

In turning thumbs down on a congressional bid, Rubio said in a written statement that the recent birth of his second child, with "Down Syndrome," was "truly a gift" that reminded him of priorities in life. His family needs him more today than Congress does, he said.

Rubio was not available to comment, but issued a brief statement that said, in part:

"When the day comes that (my daughter) may read this statement, all I can say to her is 'thank you,' for she has reminded me that priorities in life should always be God, family and then career."


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