Democratic Assemblyman Sandre Swanson has decided not to challenge Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock for the newly drawn 9th Senate District next year, eliminating a potentially costly and divisive same-party battle for the East Bay seat.
In a statement released by the Senate Democratic Caucus, the Alameda Democrat said he would hold off on seeking the Senate seat until 2016, when he plans to run with Hancock's endorsement. Both Swanson and Hancock cited the caucus' efforts to pick up the two seats needed to hold a two-thirds majority in the upper house in the joint statement.
"As Democrats, we must come together to work for the good of all Californians," Swanson, who has now endorsed Hancock, said in a statement. "2012 provides an incredible opportunity for us to achieve a supermajority in the State Senate and that must be every Democrat's top priority."
Swanson, who is termed out of the Assembly this year, had announced in December that he would run for the safe Democratic seat, claiming Hancock had previously promised that she would support him instead of seeking a second term. Hancock thanked Swanson for his support in the statement, saying she "can't think of a better person" to succeed her if she is re-elected next November.
"Nothing is more important," the Berkeley Democrat said in a statement."than having Democrats come together for the greater good."
Sandre Swanson to challenge Loni Hancock for state Senate