California Rep. Gallegly opts against challenging HASC Chairman McKeon

"The decision to step aside at this time did not come lightly," Gallegly said in a statement. He said he and his wife decided this is the proper time for them to start “the next chapter in our lives.''

A McKeon-Gallegly showdown was made possible by the California’s Legislature’s revamp of that state’s political districts.

Gallegly’s decision likely opens the door to the return to Congress next January of McKeon, one of the military’s strongest allies.