SACRAMENTO — Sen. Robert B. Presley (D-Riverside), the upper house's veteran smog fighter and prison construction specialist, said Monday he will not seek reelection next year and instead will run for the State Board of Equalization.
A moderate whose Inland Empire district has become heavily Republican in voter registration, Presley said he wants to finish his fifth term and then seek election to the tax-collecting board in 1994. The post pays $95,052 a year.
Voters in Presley's Senate district are expected to elect a Republican next year. Democrats had encouraged Presley to run for a sixth term, contending that he is probably the only Democrat who could win. Assemblyman Ray Haynes (R-Murrieta) is expected to be a candidate.
Presley said he asked Republican Gov. Pete Wilson to withdraw his name from consideration to fill a current vacancy on the tax board. If he were to leave the Senate early, a special election would be required to fill the vacant seat, at an estimated cost of $1 million. He said taxpayers could not afford the expense.
In the Legislature, Presley, first elected in 1974, has spearheaded various clean-air initiatives and served as the Senate's chief overseer of state prison construction programs.