Maverick Assemblyman Anthony Portantino to put politics 'on hold'
Anthony Portantino is done with politics -- for now.
The Democratic assemblyman from La Canada Flintridge, who has cultivated a reputation as a legislative maverick in his three terms in the lower house, has decided to put his political career "on hold" this election cycle.
Citing family obligations, Portantino told supporters in an email Wednesday that he would not run for state or federal office this year when he is termed out of the Assembly. He said his mother has been in poor health and would likely be traveling to New Jersey to help her move into assisted living.
"I won't be available to campaign in the manner that my supporters expect and our district deserves, while still attending to my legislative responsibilities," Portantino said in the e-mail.
Still, the lawmaker said his decision does not preclude a future campaign.
"I hope you will understand that this decision in no way ends my political career," he said. "Placing it on 'hold' allows me to focus on my family while they need me. I will continue to work to put trust and accountability back into public service, now and in the future."
Portantino, an outspoken advocate for open government, had weighed runs for both Congress and the state Senate, making headlines last year after accusing Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) of retaliating against him for bucking his party on the state budget.
The fight culminated in a lawsuit over the Legislative Open Records Act, with Portantino demanding the release of lawmakers' spending records after Perez accused him of being a profligate spender and cut his office budget.
--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
Photo: After failing to vote for a measure to eliminate redevelopment agencies, Assemblyman Anthony PortantIno (D-La Canada-Flintridge) leaves a meeting last year with Gov. Jerry Brown, background, who tried to convince him to vote for the bill. Credit: Associated Press.