State Sen. Dave Cogdill wants to retire from the Legislature, but come back to government in Stanislaus County.
He announced Thursday that he intends to run for county assessor, a position opening because of Doug Harms' decision not to seek re-election.
"After much prayer and consultation with family and friends, I've decided to move forward with this exciting opportunity to stay connected to my community and continue the great work of current Assessor Doug Harms and his capable staff," Cogdill said in his announcement.
A year ago, Cogdill was the Senate's Republican leader. He backed a budget plan that his colleagues rejected, which led the party to oust him from his leadership position in February.
Cogdill two months ago surprised party leaders by announcing he would not seek re-election. He has served three terms in the Assembly and one in the Senate.
He's leaving the Legislature on a high note, having helped broker an $11.1 billion water bond package that he says will improve the state's water supply.
He's an unusually high-profile candidate for assessor, an elected post for which top deputies often are groomed while their predecessors are still in office.
That was the case with Harms, who was Mike DeFerrari's assistant in 2002 when he defeated another assistant, former Modesto City Councilman Mike Serpa.
Cogdill built his career in real estate before moving to public office. He worked for eight years in the Mono County assessor's office, and ran his real estate appraisal business in Modesto for 26 years.
The assessor will be on the June ballot along with other county positions, including district attorney, sheriff, clerk-recorder and two supervisor's seats.
Bee Assistant City Editor Adam Ashton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2366.