Nielsen returning to politics

A former state senator says he will run for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Assembly District seat in 2008.

Jim Nielsen, 62, declared his intent after Jason Larrabee, the closest competition in his party, stepped aside and endorsed him Wednesday.

Nielsen is best known for his time in the Senate from 1978 to 1990 when he co-authored California’s “Victims’ Bill of Rights,” enacted in 1982.

“I was privileged to serve the north state for 12 years,” Nielsen said. “This appears to be the proper time for me to do so again.”

The seat is currently filled by Doug LaMalfa, who will be leaving the Assembly next year after serving the maximum three, two-year terms. The district includes Butte, Colusa and Sutter counties.

Nielsen plans to retire from the California Board of Prison Terms this year. He has served as deputy commissioner since 2001.

He also owns a small cattle ranch in Sanger, a city of about 18,000 near Fresno.

During his term, Nielsen became the youngest person to serve as Republican Senate leader in California history.

Since his term in the Senate, Nielsen has helped with the campaigns of Republican candidates such as Pete Wilson and more recently Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Bush.

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