Citing family stresses brought on by his brother’s untimely death in 2010 and his mother’s ill health, Assemblyman Anthony Portantino announced Wednesday night that he will not seek election in 2012.
The surprise announcement comes at a time when the La Cañada Flintridge Democrat was faced with a possible challenge to state Sen. Carol Liu’s seat due to his being termed out of the Assembly and newly redrawn district maps.
Despite interviewing with local Democratic clubs for their endorsement for Liu’s seat, Portantino had so far declined to state his political intentions.
In his statement Wednesday night, Portantino said that due to obligations in taking care of his ailing mother, “I won’t be available to campaign in the manner that my supporters and our district deserves, while still attending to my legislative responsibilities.”
He said his mother, Barbara, took a turn for the worse after his 52-year-old brother, Michael, reportedly died after jumping from a seven-story building in San Diego in December 2010. Michael Portantino was the publisher of San Diego’s Gay and Lesbian Times and a leader in the gay and lesbian community.
While Anthony Portantino was careful to tell constituents that his break “in no way ends my political career,” he did not say what future role he might play.
In the meantime, he expressed confidence in the current representatives for the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.
-- Jason Wells, Times Community News