Ending months of speculation, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra announced Thursday he won't run for Senate.
The decision by the Californian keeps the highest-ranking Latino lawmaker in the mix for future leadership races , and avoids what would have been a very difficult primary battle for the seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer. “My decision came down to this: ‘Where can I make the biggest difference for hardworking people like my parents?’" Becerra said of his decision to run for re-election.
"As chairman of the House Democrats and lead Democrat on the Social Security committee, I am best positioned in the House of Representatives to stand up and get things done now."
Becerra faced essentially the same choice as another ambitious Democrat, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland — run for Senate or stick around for a chance to jump up the leadership ladder when one of the party's trio of septuagenarians at the top finally retires.
Becerra has passed on other opportunities before, notably when he decided not to take an appointment to serve as President Barack Obama's first U.S. trade representative.
Related: Xavier Becerra Comes Into His Own