California Republican Ed Royce not seeking re-election
10 Enero, 2018, 01:04 | Author: Gregg Anderson
That prompted the campaign arm for congressional Democrats to target Royce's district in Southern California as one they hoped to flip in their midterm effort to take control of the House.
Democrats still have an uphill climb, however: in most states, Republican victories in the wave election of 2010 - which was also a Census year - led to the drawing of congressional districts in ways that favored the GOP.
If Democrats were to win control of the House, Representative Eliot Engel, now foreign affairs ranking Democrat, is expected to become chairman. Four years earlier, Republican Mitt Romney narrowly won the district.
"It wasn't a re-election problem, that's for sure", said Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel, who called Royce's announcement "a shocker". However, California has been growing increasingly favorable to Democratic candidates.
The suburban district southeast of Los Angeles has significant chunks of Hispanic, Asian and highly educated voters, a combination "that makes Democrats salivate", said political scientist Jack Pitney, who teaches at Claremont McKenna College. The 39th District is one of seven Republican-held congressional districts clustered in the Central Valley and Orange County where voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for president.
"In the suburbs, Trump is toxic", Pitney said. In addition to Royce, at least 30 House Republicans have announced they are retiring, running for another office or resigning outright, according to a CNN tracker. Republicans were expected to comfortably keep their 16-seat majority in the state's House of Delegates, but Democrats overcame aggressive partisan gerrymandering to cut that majority to a single seat.
The ranking by Sabato's Crystal Ball, at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, also changed Monday with Royce's announcement. Five Democrats have already jumped into the race to replace Royce, and under California's primary system, known as the "jungle primary system", the top two vote-getters will go on to the general election, regardless of party.
"It's truly an honor to represent the people of California's 39th Congressional District".
If Republicans maintain control of the House in the November elections, Representative Michael McCaul, a foreign affairs committee member who is now chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is seen as a possible new leader of the foreign affairs panel, congressional aides said. First elected in 1993, Royce is termed out of his committee chairmanship this year.
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