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Posted at 10:32 a.m. on Feb. 29, 2012
California Rep. David Dreier announced his long-expected retirement on the House floor this morning.
The Rules Committee chairman, a 16-term Republican from San Dimas, was essentially a man without a home after the state’s new independent redistricting process that left him with no good options for re-election.
“What I’m about to announce will not come as much of a surprise,” Dreier said from the well of the House. “We all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating, and the American people are asking for change in Congress. So I’m announcing today that I will leave the Congress at the end of this year.”
Dreier said he contemplated retiring three years ago but opted to stay in hopes that the GOP would regain the majority.
Dreier was drawn into a district that President Barack Obama would have won in 2008 with 61 percent and that Rep. Grace Napolitano (D) is expected to win easily in November. There were no nearby districts that Dreier could seamlessly move into without facing a difficult election.
Dreier is the fourth California Republican to announce his retirement in the past two months, following Reps. Elton Gallegly, Wally Herger and Jerry Lewis. Overall, Dreier is the 21st Member to retire this cycle and not run for another office.