House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) will announce that he is retiring on Thursday.
Both Politico and The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday that McKeon, who had been mulling whether to run for another term or not, had decided not to seek reelection.
McKeon has held the seat, which covers the southern part of California, since 1992. He has easily won re-election each time he ran. But the race to replace McKeon will likely be competitive. The district went for Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election by a slim 2-point margin. In 2008 the district split evenly between Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), with each candidate getting 49 percent of the vote.
McKeon had been rumored to be planning to retire and former state Sen. Ted Strickland (R), a congressional hopeful, even switched the district where he was registered to run in anticipation of McKeon’s retirement.