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Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, perhaps best known for pushing the Assembly to release member budgets after leaders threatened to furlough his staff last year, has decided not to run for state or federal office this year.

"I hope you understand that this decision in no way ends my political career," Portantino said in a written announcement Wednesday night.

"Placing it on 'hold' allows me to focus on my family while they need me. I will continue to work to put trust and accountability back into public service, now and in the future."

The D-La Cañada-Flintridge Democrat, who is termed out of the Assembly in December, has about $46,000 in a campaign finance committee named "Portantino For Senate 2016."

Portantino said that he is not in a position this year to "campaign in a manner that my supporters expect and our district deserves," partly because his mother has not been in good health and he is likely to be spending time in New Jersey packing up her house and helping with her transition into assisted living.

A six-year legislator who once chaired the Assembly's Higher Education and Revenue and Taxation committees, Portantino was left this year with no clear-cut Senate or congressional district to seek by California's independent redistricting commission, which drew new political districts last summer.

Portantino's fight with Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez began last summer when he was ordered to tighten his belt by the Assembly Rules Committee or face a six-week furlough of his staff. Portantino countered by demanding release of members' office budgets and accusing Pérez of punishing him for casting the lone Democratic vote against the state budget. The Bee and Los Angeles Times later filed suit and won a court order releasing the member budgets.

Portantino weighed campaigns for Congress and the Senate before deciding not to seek a position this year in either. He resides in the same state Senate District as Carol Liu,
D-La Cañada-Flintridge, who will be termed out in 2016, creating an apparent opportunity for Portantino.


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