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Assemblywoman Connie Conway, R-Tulare, the Assembly Republican leader.

It's no secret that Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, who will be forced from the state Legislature this year by term limits, has opened up a state Senate account for a possible 2018 run.

The account has been open a year, is actively receiving contributions, and had more than $400,000 as of Sept. 30.

But lots of politicians open up campaign accounts only to not run for that seat -- or not run at all. Some just use it as a spot to park their campaign money while they consider their next political move.

On Thursday, however, the Tulare Republican made it official: She'll seek the 16th state Senate District seat when Bakersfield's Jean Fuller, the current occupant, is termed out in 2018.

Fuller is, like Conway, a Republican. Conway's current Assembly district includes the Kern River Valley.

"Right now, it's a goal of mine," Conway said of running. "Jean is wonderful. She does a great job. I'm not challenging her, but when she is termed out I will be seeking that seat."

Conway will turn 64 in September, which means she'll take office at age 68 if she wins the election four years from now. Then again, she didn't even start her political career until age 50, when in 2000 she won a seat on the Tulare County Board of Supervisors.

She'll also have to cool her political jets for a few years between the end of her Assembly career this coming Nov. 30 and the start of her Senate campaign.