Ed Royce won't seek re-election

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In case there was any doubt, Trump is still the gold standard for the Republican Party of Georgia.

WASHINGTON-The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a long-time advocate for Armenian issues in Congress Ed Royce (R-Calif.) announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.

Congressman Darrell Issa is the author of the "Protect and Grow American Jobs Act", which is seen by Indian IT companies as a business killer.

The congressional district Issa has represented since 2001 - California's 49th - is one of 23 won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that are currently held by Republicans, who are now considered vulnerable in this November's congressional elections. Doug Jones, D-Ala., in a special election last month offered Democrats a plausible, if improbable, path to the majority.Issa built a national profile as the chief congressional antagonist to former President Barack Obama and his administration during his tenure as ranking Republican and then chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, between 2008 and 2015.

"There's no question some Democrats in 2010 ran for the hills". Four years earlier, Republican Mitt Romney narrowly won the district.

In a statement, Issa said that "with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California's 49th District". 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.

Royce's retirement Monday was an even bigger boon for Team Blue. Royce, a 13-term incumbent, represents a district where Clinton won by almost 10 points in 2016.

Democrats have their own challenges in 2018.

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However, Applegate will be facing off against three other Democrats, including Orange County environmental lawyer Mike Levin, San Diego real estate investor Paul Kerr and former State Department and United Nations aide Sara Jacobs.

But Democrats were gleeful over the retirements and what it could mean in reaching the 24 GOP-held seats they need to win in order to take control of the House.

The GOP appears to be fantasizing about such a development.

Article updated at 11 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. on January 11 to reflect candidates who have since declared they will run for California's 49th congressional district.

"We're going to see the unified Republican agenda - House, Senate and White House - which is going to focus on infrastructure and a DACA deal and a couple of other things", said. How unusually large? According to a tally by Daily Kos, there have been 30 announced retirements, including 11 announced retirements among Republicans seeking another office.

A striking feature of the slate of GOP retirements is the number of committee chairmen, including Royce and Issa, who already had lost or were about to lose their leadership posts due to party-governed term limits.

The 15-term congressman, who leads the Europe, Eurasia & Emerging Threats Subcommittee, has routinely defended Putin against attacks by fellow lawmakers and has said the United States needs to cooperate with the Kremlin to defeat radical Islamist terrorism - a position President Donald Trump has also espoused. Republicans should understand that continued support for Trump's policies is a surefire recipe to lose their seat in 2018.