Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) is retiring in 2012 after 12 terms in Congress, he announced Saturday morning.
A new congressional map drawn up by the state’s independent redistricting commission significantly diminished Gallegly’s chances of reelection. His 24th district was drawn into the new 25th district held by the better-funded Rep. Buck McKeon (R), and his only other option was the 26th, which included part of his old territory but becomes more Democratic under the new map.
“Serving in Congress and representing my home for 25 years is the greatest experience I could have ever asked for,” Gallegly said in a statement. “But in the end, Janice and I decided now was the right time to begin the next chapter in our lives. We are truly blessed to have our health, our family, and so many, many friends that we look forward to spending more time with.”
State Sen. Tony Strickland (R) is planning to run for the open 26th district seat, according to California’s Flash Report.
Gallegly is the first California Republican to retire in the wake of the new map.