Jan. 24,2012 | Alameda Assemblyman Sandre Swanson will ends his nascent campaign to challenge fellow Democrat Loni Hancock for her seat in the state senate.

Swanson will also endorse Hancock for the senate seat in the June primary and work towards replacing her at the end of her potential term in 2016, he said Tuesday.

“As Democrats, we must come together to work for the good of all Californians,” said Swanson. “Two thousand twelve provides an incredible opportunity for us to achieve a super majority in the State Senate and that must be every Democrat’s top priority. That is why I have decided to endorse Loni Hancock for election to the 9th State Senate district, and I will continue my campaign for election to succeed her in 2016.”

Hancock’s new district emcompasses a swath of the East Bay from Albany through Oakland and Berkeley to San Leandro. For two years, residents in San Leandro will be represented by both Hancock and their current state Sen. Ellen Corbett who has two years remaining on her second term.

The race had the potential for extreme hard ball politics, according to many in the East Bay.

The race was also highlighted by many in the state as to watch under the new open primary system where the likelihood of members of the same party facing each other in the general election might prove to be an exercise in party divisiveness.

The wrtiing may have been on the wall last Saturday when Democratic leaders in Alameda County overwhelming chose to endorse Hancock with over 80 percent of the vote.

Swanson is termed out of his assembly seat in the 16th district. Now the 18th district through redistricting, the seat is being hotly contested by four labor friendly challengers.