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Ed Royce Is The Latest In Wave Of GOP Retirements

Ed Royce Is The Latest In Wave Of GOP Retirements

U.S. Representative Ed Royce, the chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said on January 8 that he will not run for another term in Congress. Royce has been in the House since 1993, and his retirement is part of growing trend of powerful Republicans who are heading for the exits.

Royce said in a statement he wants to focus his previous year as foreign affairs chairman "on the urgent threats facing our nation", which he listed as the North Korean and Iranian governments, Russian efforts to "weaponize information to fracture western democracies", and terrorist threats in Africa and Central Asia.

"Ed Royce isn't the first Republican lawmaker to take an honest look at the 2018 political landscape and bow out rather than go down with the ship - and he will not be the last", Tom Steyer, a Democratic mega-donor from California who has pledged to spend $30 million on Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections, tweeted.

Trump lost the state in 2016 by more than 4 million votes and Clinton carried Orange County, once a Republican fortress, by almost 9 percentage points.

Royce's district includes portions of Los Angeles and Orange counties and is considered to be in play.

Moreover, the Cook Report and Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball both consider the 39th to be "leaning Republican", which could lead to a competitive race. Although Democrats have a number of vulnerable incumbents themselves, several of the Republican retirements - including Reps.

Royce won in 2016 with more than 57 percent of the vote, and Republicans hold a narrow edge in voter registration. No preference voters make up almost 26 percent of the district, up from 23 percent in 2012.

Of particular concern to the CLF are ads and protests from the left and progressive groups targeting Republicans for their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

So far, there are eight challengers for Royce's seat.

Royce is one of several relatively moderate Republicans from California whose jobs have become endangered as the state has become increasingly Democratic.

Mai-Khanh Tran, another Democratic candidate, raised over $600,000 past year and had just under $500,000 on hand.

In the months leading up to Royce's announcement, there have been nearly weekly protests at his district offices in Brea, including an October demonstration that led to a driver running his vehicle into protesters in downtown Brea, near Royce's office. Brea police arrested 56-year-old Brea resident Daniel Wenzek on suspicion of felony assault Oct. 26 and released him the same day.

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