Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) will retire at the end of this term in Congress, handing Democrats a likely pickup in his Democratic-leaning seat.
“It has been a great honor to spend so many years in public service, striving to make a difference for Southern California families. While there is still a lot of work to be done, it is now time for me to pass the baton. I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of this term,” Miller said in a press release Wednesday.
President Obama carried his district with 57 percent in 2012, and Miller won a term in the redrawn district, which was all new territory for him, thanks to a quirk in California’s primary law. Under the state’s all-candidate system, Miller and Republican Bob Dutton were the top two vote-getters in the primary, so Democrat Pete Aguilar didn’t advance to the November general election.
Democrats vowed to make sure that doesn’t happen again, though. Aguilar is running again, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s blessing.
Attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes (D) has the backing of deep-pocketed EMILY’s List, though, and former Rep. Joe Baca (D), who previously represented part of the district, has been eyeing a comeback in the primary as well.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) made no mention of defending the district in a statement thanking Miller for his service.
“Our country is stronger because of leaders like Gary Miller. Gary’s background in business gave him unique insight as to how to best grow the economy and create jobs,” Walden said. “During his time in Congress, he worked tirelessly to develop our country’s energy sources and give our veterans the support they have earned.”