Norman Solomon, a Marin County political activist and author, said Wednesday he will run for the Sonoma—Marin congressional seat in 2012 if Rep. Lynn Woolsey retires.

Solomon, an Inverness resident and self-described progressive Democrat, said he would "extend the Woolsey legacy" by opposing war in Afghanistan and backing green jobs, clean energy, civil liberties, gender equality, health care, education and balanced spending priorities.

"True leadership means standing up for the well-being of the vast majority of Americans, even when — especially when — the powerful push back," Solomon said.

Solomon serves on the California Democratic Party Central Committee and was an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

He said he has formed a federally registered exploratory committee, the same step state Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, took in December with an intent to run for Congress if Woolsey steps down.

Woolsey, 73, who is serving her 10th term in Congress, said last month she is considering retirement in 2012 and will make a decision in June.

Democrats dominate voter registration in the 6th Congressional District and a crowded primary field is expected if Woolsey retires.