SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — Just hours after East Bay congressman Rep. George Miller announced his retirementState Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) declared he will run for the congressional seat.

DeSaulnier told KCBS that he has valued the friendship and admired the work of Miller, the Democratic congressman who announced that he is stepping down after serving 40 years on Capitol Hill.

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“Given that he’s retired—and I’ve talked to him—and he’s happy with his decision. To be able to have the opportunity to try to fill those shoes, however I could do that, is one that I’m not going to pass up.” he said.

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DeSaulnier said he will be termed out of the State Senate in 2016. Miller’s impending departure will leave a vacancy in California’s 11th Congressional District and DeSaulnier, who describes himself as a progressive like Miller, wants that district seat.

“I’ve spent more time in transportation than George has and he spent much more time in education but labor, protecting poor people and getting things down is probably the most important thing,” he said.

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DeSaulnier said that he has been successful in working with members across the aisle in Sacramento and that one of his goals would be to help get past the gridlock in Washington. His campaign, he said, is already gearing up but that he will pull double duty as a congressional candidate and a state lawmaker.