By Gary Walker

On the heels of this week’s surprise retirement announcement by veteran Rep. Henry Waxman (D- Beverly Hills), state Sen. Ted Lieu said Thursday that he will run to fill the seat Waxman is leaving behind.

“I love our nation, but I believe that we can do better,” Lieu said. “We have faced some of the same difficult issues in California that we see nationally. We faced huge deficits, partisan gridlock and a government shutdown. But because I and other lawmakers reached across the aisle and made difficult decisions, we came out of those situations and now we have a budget surplus.”

Lieu’s announcement came just one day after former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, who was defeated in last year’s Los Angeles mayoral election, announced that she would run to fill Waxman’s seat in the coming November election.

Waxman has represented Westside communities in Congress for four decades.

California’s 33rd Congressional District, Waxman’s current seat, includes Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica — areas also represented by Lieu. Lieu won a 2011 special election in 2011 to replace the late state Sen. Jenny Oropeza after he termed out of the state Assembly.

Prior to Waxman’s announcement two challengers were already campaigning as independents: author and lecturer Marianne Williamson and Hollywood producer Brent Roske.