US Rep Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena) said he is seriously considering running for the US Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer.


“Since Sen. Boxer announced her retirement, I have been encouraged by many Californians to run for her seat in 2016,” Schiff said in a prepared statement. “As the opportunity to run for a California Senate seat comes around very seldom and I would relish the chance to serve the entire state, I am giving the matter serious consideration.”


Boxer is retiring after serving nearly 22 years in the Senate. Prior to that, she served for 10 years in the House of Representatives. 


If Schiff decides to run, he would be facing stiff competition. California Attorney General Kamala Harris has announced plans to run for the seat, as has former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.


The 54-year-old Schiff, a former deputy US Attorney, served four years in the state Senate before moving on to Congress in 2001. During his tenure in the state Senate, Schiff authored Senate Bill 1847 in 1998, which created the Pasadena Blue Line Authority. The authority took over oversight duties on construction of Blue Line light rail extension to Pasadena, which was later named the Gold Line.


In his first year in Congress, Schiff co-authored the PATRIOT Act and was the only Judiciary Committee Democrat to join Republicans in seeking immigration restrictions after Sept. 11.


He was easily re-elected to a seventh term in November, defeating Steve Stokes with 76.5 percent of the vote. Earlier this month, Schiff was named to the top Democratic position on the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff also sits on the Select Committee on Benghazi and is on leave from the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.


Members of the House Intelligence Committee are required to take sabbaticals from other committees upon their appointment to that board.


“I am deeply grateful for the confidence that my House colleagues have placed in me,” Schiff said. “The demands and responsibilities of this new position are considerable, and I hope to reach a decision in the near future after consulting with my family, friends and constituents.”