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Woolsey to Retire After Two Decades in House

Rep. Lynn Woolsey announced Monday that she will not run for an 11th term in 2012, saying she will turn 75 before the next election and that the time has come to move on.

The California Democrat’s decision, announced from her Petaluma home, came as no surprise, and other Democrats have been eyeing her 6th district seat.

The district includes Marin and Sonoma counties, and its southern border is the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. In the first redistricting plan under consideration in California, the district would extend north to the Oregon border, taking all of Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson’s coastal area.

President Barack Obama won the district with 76 percent of the vote in 2008, and it does not seem it would be any more competitive under the proposed map.

Woolsey, who has previously served as the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was first elected in 1992 to succeed Barbara Boxer (D), who was elected to the Senate.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thanked Woolsey for her service in a statement Monday.

“When Congresswoman Woolsey retires, the Bay Area will lose a powerful advocate and the nation will lose a tireless progressive leader,” the California Democrat said. “But her powerful legacy of progressive accomplishments will long stand as testimony to her efforts.”

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.

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