Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), the powerful chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, currently serving his 13th term in Congress, announced Monday that he will retire after 2018 and will not seek re-election this November.
Royce was considered among the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress. Though he won comfortably in 2016, Hillary Clinton carried his congressional district over Donald Trump in 2016 by a large margin of eight points.
He is the seventh Republican committee chair to retire ahead of the midterm elections. Royce issued a statement:
It’s truly an honor to represent the people of California’s 39th Congressional District. Every day, it’s my mission to fight for freedom, opportunity and a limited government. In recent years, we’ve made a real difference. From Sacramento to Washington, we’ve enacted critical reforms to combat the modern day slavery of human trafficking. We’ve achieved commonsense tax and regulatory reforms to help small businesses and middle class families realize their American dream. And with great persistence, we’ve helped shut down the global ivory trade to save the world’s most majestic animals and deny vital funding to terrorist groups and criminal networks.
In this final year of my Foreign Affairs Committee chairmanship, I want to focus fully on the urgent threats facing our nation, including: the brutal, corrupt and dangerous regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran, Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to weaponize information to fracture western democracies, and growing terrorist threats in Africa and Central Asia. With this in mind, and with the support of my wife Marie, I have decided not to seek reelection in November.
I want to extend my deepest appreciation to the people of the 39th District for entrusting me with the responsibility to represent them. Our district is blessed to be diverse, and I’ve been successful in part because of my great staff and the relationships we’ve built with families, businesses and leaders in each of our communities. We’ve personally helped countless Southern Californians.
Orange County will always be home to Marie and me, and we look forward to being with all our friends at Lunar New Years, Korean American Days, Fourth of Julys and many other community events for years to come.
Other Orange County Republicans, including Darrell Issa and Dana Rohrabacher, are also considered vulnerable, as the once-conservative county has trended Democrat in recent years. The latter two voted against President Donald Trump’s tax reform.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.