WatchSonoma Watch

State Sen. Noreen Evans reportedly won’t seek re-election


State Sen. Noreen Evans is expected to announce next week that she will not seek re-election in 2014 and that she instead will return to practicing law once her current term ends, a Sacramento source said Friday.

“It’s a demanding job. It’s taken its toll,” said the source, who is close to Evans’ campaign for the 2014 seat.

The source said it was never the Santa Rosa Democrat’s intention to be a career politician.

“Her true love has always been advocating for justice and so she’s going to do that in the courtroom,” the source said.

State Sen. Noreen Evans.

State Sen. Noreen Evans.

A spokeswoman for Evans said the senator was out ill Friday and unavailable for comment. State lawmakers return to work in Sacramento on Monday.

Word that the 58-year-old senator will voluntarily give up her post next year has already sparked furious speculation as to who who might seek the 2nd District Senate seat, which encompasses a huge swath of the North Coast from Marin to Humboldt County. The district represents more than one million people.

Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane on Friday squelched rumors that she would seek the Senate seat, calling it a “99.9 percent” certainty that she will stay put.

“I have no plans. I love my job,” she said.

Others rumored to be in the mix are Mike McGuire, Zane’s colleague on the board representing northwest Sonoma County; and Patty Berg and Michael Allen, who both served in the state Assembly.

In Marin County, San Rafael city councilman Damon Connolly and three-term county supervisor Susan Adams are said to be eyeing the seat.

“It’s potentially a very crowded field,” said David McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist.

Evans, who was elected to the Senate in 2010, would be the overwhelming favorite to retain the seat were she to seek re-election.

She raised just over $50,000 from Jan. 1 to June 30 for a 2014 run, and also spent nearly $58,000 over that period, mostly on political consultants, state records show.

Supporters credit Evans with helping to create the nation’s first Homeowner Bill of Rights, battling for accountability in the much maligned California Parks Department and advocating for environmental causes and those that support women and children.

But she’s also displayed signs of burnout with a job that pays her an annual salary of $95,291, not including a per diem and other benefits.

Evans sparked an outcry in April 2011 when she suggested she would have to resort to hot-air balloons, llamas and other unconventional modes of travel to visit residents of her sprawling North Coast district following a state commission’s decision to take away her taxpayer-funded car.

In September of that same year, it was revealed that she had applied for a seat on the California Court of Appeal, only nine months after she was sworn in as a state senator. She did little at the time to dispel rumors that she also was interested in the job of county supervisor.

Evans was elected to the state Assembly in 2004 and, prior to that, served on the Santa Rosa City Council.

She resumed legal work for the Santa Rosa firms of Edgar Law and O’Brien, Watters & Davis LLP in 2010, state records show. Evans was an equity partner and trial lawyer with the Watters firm until 1990.

The two firms continued to rely on the senator’s services in 2012, paying her between $10,001 and $100,000 for the year, records show. The amounts represent a range of income that Evans legally had to report on financial disclosure forms for lawmakers.

“She’s been in the game for awhile,” McCuan said. “It’s not always been easy for her in the Assembly and in the Senate. In many ways, those institutions are an old boys club, and she rails against that.”

(You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.)

12 Responses to “State Sen. Noreen Evans reportedly won’t seek re-election”

  1. Michael Sheehan says:

    As bad as Evans is as an irritating whiner, she’s not an incompetent, socialistic, lying, hypocrite like the so-called “leader” in the White House.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. Emerson Burkett says:

    To Larry Watkins;
    I totally agreed with your first paragraph about Noreen Evans.
    Totally disagree with your second paragraph about what a fine fellow Daryl Issa is. Issa? Issa? The man has spent millions of taxpayer dollars in witch hunts against The Administration. And what results does he have? ZERO, I repeat, ZERO. Issa is a man devoid of integrity, Ethics and morals.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  3. Larry Watkins says:


    Evans has been a whiner since her early days in political office. She has done nothing for her district except cry and complain about her car, pay and time spent during something which certainly hasn’t been her job.

    Issa is a self made man who stands up the Obamba tyranny and the bureaucrats that are his mouthpieces. He is a man to be admired and thanked for all of his good work pointing out the ills and lies this administration lives by.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  4. David says:

    Unlike the Mockingbird and other liberals, I don’t care what party they are affiliated with. If you screw up you need to resign from the public trough. I don’t care if what party Carillo belongs to or leans toward, he needs to resign. If Pat Wiggings, Noreen Evans, Bob Filner, etal. were Republicans I would still feel the same way. As long as they are perceived by you to be on “your side” you want to give them a pass. Shame on you!

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  5. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    David-What misdeeds? The rightwing can make misdeeds out of nothing. Look at Issa, the pitbull of the Republican party put in place solely to harass Obama and his administration over anything and everything. Now I have an issue with Issa’s misdeeds and there are MANY.

    So she has a car. So you don’t like her politics. So you think she’s paid too much. So you think she’s socialist. Or whatever.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  6. David says:

    When the misdeeds of Conservative are reported on, it is great reporting. When the misdeeds of liberals are reported on, they are called hit pieces?

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  7. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Despite this website and the PD hits against her, Noreen has done an excellent job for Sonoma county in Sacramento. I, for one, thank her and am sorry to see her go.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 17

  8. Val Muchowski says:

    Thank you Noreen for 4 years as our Senator. Your work for women and children is greatly appreciated!

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 20

  9. Emerson Burkett says:

    Frankly, I will be glad to not have to hear any more of her whining.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  10. Grapevines says:

    No more State supplied automobile, and a cut in pay (still twice to three times what she’s worth) She’s just going to take her ball and go home!

    That will show them.

    Good riddance Noreen, you were not worth a damn when you were in there and I’m sure that the Democratic Party that controls your seat will make sure that someone just a useless gets elected into it.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 11

  11. Steveguy says:

    Noreen will become a ” former” which means big consulting money.

    Favors owed and paybacks to pay.

    She will cash in, as usual. Bought and paid for.

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 9

  12. Paul says:

    I hope Noreen is not plotting to run for Efren Carrillo’s seat. I bet she’s planning to pull a Michael Allen and move to the 5th District so she can position herself to run. We dont need a Sacramento career-politician in the seat.

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 9

Leave a Reply