Assemblywoman Linda Halderman announced today that she will not seek election for a second term this year.
Spokesman George Andrews confirmed that Halderman, a surgeon, announced on Fresno radio station KMJ today that she will return to the medical profession when her first Assembly term expires in December.
"I have loved representing my constituents," Halderman told KMJ News. "This is my home and I'm staying here, but it's been more than four years since I have been more of a policy person and a politician than a doctor and I just need to go back."
The Fresno Republican is a specialist in breast cancer surgery who once served as a policy adviser to former state Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Penn Valley.
Because of her medical background, Halderman has been outspoken within the Assembly's Republican Caucus on health care issues. She opposes government-controlled health care.
During her first term, Halderman served as chairwoman of the California Legislative Rural Caucus and as vice chairwoman of two Assembly committees - one handling water, parks and wildlife issues; the other targeting aging and long-term care matters.
Halderman made headlines in January when Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez assigned her to the Assembly's "doghouse," a shoebox-sized Capitol office on the fifth floor. Pérez did not say why. Spokesman John Vigna said only that speakers shift member office assignments every year.
In years past, however, the cramped quarters have been used sporadically by Assembly speakers as punishment or to send a message to dissident legislators. Halderman is known as one of the most conservative lawmakers in a legislative house dominated by liberal Democrats.
Halderman laughed off her assignment to the doghouse, saying that her aides felt right at home there and that the office provided a beautiful view of Capitol Park. She named it the "Bulldog House" in honor of the four-legged mascot at Fresno State University.
PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, R-Fresno prepares to be sworn in with other new and returning members of the California Assemblyon Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua