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Boxer indicates big decision to come next year
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Sen. Barbara Boxer indicated Thursday that she will announce early next year whether she will seek a fifth term.

Boxer, 73, said she loves her job and sees no roadblocks to returning to the Senate if she decides to run again. California has several high-profile Democrats who might have their eye on higher office, including Attorney General Kamala Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor.

Boxer’s current six-year term expires in 2016. She says she has routinely waited until the previous election season has concluded before deciding whether to run and will do the same this time. She promised the decision would come early in the election cycle, but would not be more specific.

“That’s what I always do. I’m going to decide way ahead, so after this election, and then early next cycle, I’ll make that decision,” Boxer told reporters during a meeting in her office.

Boxer faces the prospect of serving in the minority during her final two years, but made it sound like that would have little influence in her thinking. She said she preferred serving in the majority but also was able to get things done while serving in the minority.

She would be favored to win re-election if she did run and would have the advantage of running during a presidential election, when higher voter turnout tends to favor Democratic candidates in California.

Her campaign committee has spent more than it has brought in over the past 18 months. She had almost $200,000 in the bank at the end of June, a modest sum for a California Senate race. At the same time of her 2010 re-election campaign against Carly Fiorina, Boxer had more than $3.5 million in the bank.

This time, there is no strong Republican contender on the horizon and there is little question that she could turn on the fundraising spigots when needed.