California Rep. Darrell Issa to retire after the end of his term

Congressman Ed Royce R Fullerton speaks with constituents in Yorba Linda with his wife Marie

Congressman Ed Royce R Fullerton speaks with constituents in Yorba Linda with his wife Marie

"With this in mind, and with the support of my wife Marie, I have decided not to seek reelection in November", said Royce.

"But if Democrats venture too far into the bipartisan realm, they risk pushback from the hyper-engaged base voters who would be critical in the 2018 election in every district, whether it's safe or toss-up".

Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, also represents an Orange County district that went for Clinton over Trump.

Ed Royce announced Monday he won't seek re-election, leaving his district vulnerable to a potential party change in November. That means two of the four competitive Orange County House races are guaranteed new faces next year.

In a press release announcing his retirement, Royce cited the tax cut bill passed in December and the crackdown on the global ivory trade as among recent accomplishments.

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Issa's Wednesday announcement means at least 31 Republicans are retiring from the House this year.

The report states that Republicans could still win the district if Democrats split the vote, but the report states that it would require "a very elaborate set of circumstances".

Royce's announcement came just a few days after Rep. Gregg Harper of MS, the Republican chairman of the House Administration Committee, announced his retirement. The favored Democrat in this then-49% Latino and plurality Democratic district was Redlands City Councilman Pete Aguilar.

In September, after Democrats included Royce in a list of Republicans likely to retire, an aide said that Royce as "100 percent running for reelection". "We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats' battle royale: black and blue, and broke".

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won Issa's district by about seven points and Royce's district by almost nine points during the 2016 presidential election, leading many to believe that Democrats could flip both districts this year.

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The district touches the most southern cities in the county, including San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente. In 2011, he was appointed as the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"It wasn't a re-election problem, that's for sure", said Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel, who called Royce's announcement "a shocker". Like most of the others, he would have lost his gavel in the next Congress in accordance with party rules that place a three-term limit on a chairman's service.

Royce is one of several relatively moderate Republicans from California whose jobs have become endangered as the state has become increasingly Democratic. As Sean McElwee recently noted at The Outline, a majority of both college educated and non-college educated white people - voting blocks Democrats have been trying to court in recent months - support progressive economic policies, including a millionaires tax, more banking regulations, and increased health care spending.

Democrats also have a double-digit lead on the generic congressional ballot - a key indicator of a party's success in the race for control of the House.

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