California Rep. Ed Royce, a senior House Republican, announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection after he completes his 13th term in Congress later this year.
Royce, who was planning on stepping down as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee this year regardless of his reelection decision, said he wanted to "focus fully on the urgent threats facing our nation" during the final year of his chairmanship, the Associated Press reported.
Royce won his reelection campaign in 2016 with more than 57 percent of the vote and had appeared to be gearing up for reelection with $3.4 million in his campaign account as of September.
Shawn Steel, a member of the Republican Party of California, said Royce's announcement was "a shocker" and that the congressman was definitely not having a "re-election problem." However, California has been growing increasingly favorable to Democratic candidates. Democrats hold all statewide offices and control both chambers of the legislature by large margins.
Royce became the 29th House Republican to announce plans to not seek reelection this year, compared to 14 Democrats who have made the same announcement.
The congressman released a statement on Twitter about his decision not to run for reelection, saying it was "truly an honor to represent the people of California’s 39th Congressional District."
It’s truly an honor to represent the people of California’s 39th Congressional District. My full statement on the decision not to seek reelection this November: pic.twitter.com/hGRW7rLWGZ
— Ed Royce (@RepEdRoyce) January 8, 2018
He also discussed the work he plans to focus on in his final year as Foreign Affairs Committee chairman.
"In this final year of my Foreign Affairs Committee chairmanship, I want to focus fully on the urgent threats facing our nation, including: the brutal, corrupt and dangerous regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran, Vladimir Putin's continued efforts to weaponize information to fracture western democracies, and growing terrorist threats in Africa and Central Asia."
The California Republican concluded by looking ahead to spending more time with his wife and friends.
"Orange County will always be home to Marie and me, and we look forward to being with all our friends at Lunar New Years, Korean American Days, Fourth of Julys, and many other community events for years to come," Royce wrote.