Bass ends tenure as speaker, gets backing from EMILY's List

Democrat Karen Bass marked the end of her tenure as speaker of the California Assembly Tuesday by promptly transitioning into her campaign for Congress. "As soon as I walk away from the speakership, I will be running fast and furious" for Rep. Diane Watson's (D) House seat, Bass told reporters.

Bass used her final press conference as speaker to reflect on her two-year term.

"It was definitely the two most difficult years that I've ever experienced politically ... but I was glad I was there," she said.

Bass' campaign for the Democratic nod in Watson's district is gaining momentum -- EMILY's List announced Tuesday it's backing her

As the first African-American woman elected to the position, EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a statement, “Karen has been an innovative Speaker of the Assembly in California. In the legislature, Karen has been a champion for better schools and health care reform.”

Bass faces Democrat Mervin Evans and Deputy Los Angeles City Atty. Felton Newell in the June 8 primary.