Rep. George Miller to retire this year.

CONGRESS | The Bay Area’s graying congressional caucus will get yet another shot of new energy with the retirement of Rep. George Miller following four decades in Washington. The announcement Monday morning was quickly followed by a list of potential candidates to fill Miller’s Contra Costa County district. However, State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier wasted no time and made it official just a few hours later.

A list of other local politicians potentially interested in the seat, includes Assemblymembers Susan Bonilla and Joan Buchanan, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia. All are Democrats.

Elected in 1974, Miller rose to become one of the Bay Area’s most liberal members of Congress. In statement Monday, he said, “I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on behalf of children, working people and the environment, in my district and for our country, especially passage of national health care reform. Now, I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me.”

Miller, 68, was elected to 20 terms in Congress and is its fifth most senior member and one of the last sent to Washington on the heels of the Watergate scandal. He will serve out the final year of his most recent term.

The aging Bay Area caucus, however, is seeing an infusion of youth. In 2012, the defeat of Pete Stark, another 40-year veteran of Congress, and the retirement of Lynn Woolsey the same year brought two young freshman into the delegation. In addition to Miller’s retirement, it could get even younger this year if Rep. Mike Honda is unable to retain his seat in the South Bay’s 17th District.