Politicos express surprise, support for Sen. Barbara Boxer 

click to enlarge Sen. Barbara Boxer with Gavin Newsom, right, kicks off her "Jobs For California" tour in San Francisco, Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Boxer announced Thursday that she will not seek a fifth term in office next year. - PAUL SAKUMA/AP PHOTO
  • Paul Sakuma/AP Photo
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer with Gavin Newsom, right, kicks off her "Jobs For California" tour in San Francisco, Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Boxer announced Thursday that she will not seek a fifth term in office next year.

Politicians with ties to San Francisco expressed surprise at U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's announcement Thursday that she will not seek a fifth term in office next year, and they also offered praise for the veteran California Democrat.

The 74-year-old Boxer made the announcement in a video, answering questions posed from her grandson.

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, was asked this morning about Boxer's decision to not seek re-election in 2016, she responded, "What?"

The fellow Democrat said she received a phone call from Boxer earlier Thursday but had yet to respond. The two are longtime friends -- in fact, Pelosi's granddaughter and Boxer's grandson, born months apart, recently celebrated their sixth birthdays together.

"Sen. Boxer has been such a champion for the people of California, and, indeed, for our entire country," Pelosi said in a statement. "...She is one of the most unselfish politicians I have ever known of."

Pelosi continued, "She has always shared her ideas. She has always shared the credit. She has always tried to help people succeed with their ideas. She has reached across the aisle. She has reached across our state, which is a glorious state."

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, also released a statement following Boxer's announcement, highlighting her time as a supervisor in Marin County prior to first winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1992.

"Growing up in Marin County, I remember Sen. Boxer as my tenacious representative on the Board of Supervisors and I knew at a young age what every American everywhere now knows to be an immutable truth - there is no 'quit' in Barbara Boxer," Newsom said.

Newsom said Boxer's "warrior-advocate" spirit continued in her role as a congresswoman and senator for more than three decades combined.

"On issue after issue, she has given voice to the voiceless, spoken truth to power, shined a bright light on injustices previously ignored, and brought dignity and honor to a profession that too often loses sight of those qualities," Newsom said.

In her announcement, Boxer emphasized that she is not retiring but simply leaving the U.S. Senate.

Boxer said neither her age nor infighting in the U.S. Senate were factors in her decision.

"I feel as young as I did when I got elected," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Bio:
Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for Patch.com, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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