Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California says she will not seek re-election in 2016 to a fifth term in office.
The 74-year-old Boxer made the announcement in a video with her grandson.
She was first elected to the House in 1982 and then to the Senate one decade later. It was an election that marked a watershed year for women in politics with four winning U.S. Senate seats, including fellow Californian Dianne Feinstein.
In the Senate, Boxer has been a staunch supporter of abortion rights, gun control and environmental protections.
Boxer said she’s not retiring, she’s just not running for the Senate seat again and is ready to come home to the desert.
“Rancho Mirage is my home. I have a small place in the Bay Area which we love as well. And without a doubt yes, I’ll be seen around California more,” said Boxer.
Boxer’s been at the forefront of Coachella Valley issues, including water conservation and restoring the Salton Sea. She asked the government to designate the sea as a focus area for renewable energy development.
In September, Boxer helped unveil the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which will set aside 22 million acres of California desert for wildlife and recreation.
Boxer’s also been a great supporter of the Desert Aids Project and the Aids Assistance Program in Palm Springs, pushing the “Get Tested Coachella Valley” campaign and support for the Community Development Federal Block Grant program to help pay for repairs, renovations and services at DAP for more than 25 years.
“She’s a powerhouse,” said Barry Dayton, Desert Aids Project director of marketing & communications. “A lot of her politics line up with our causes, certainly with improved access for healthcare and making sure everyone’s tested for HIV and knows their status.”
Boxer told us she’s had her share of voters remorse, but holds a strong voting record for positive change. With still more work to be done in the desert and across the state, her fight continues beyond her time in the Senate.
“We’re sure that Barbara’s going to do wonderful things in the future as she has in the past,” said Dayton.