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« AL-05: Sparks Staying In Gubernatorial Race | Blog Home Page | FEC: Candidates Raised $1.4 Billion In 2008 »

California Rep. Radanovich (R) Retiring

Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) announced today he will not seek re-election in 2010, citing the health of his wife.

"As many already know, Ethie has been valiantly fighting ovarian cancer for nearly three years. My family needs me, and I intend to be by their side to win this battle," Radanovich said in a statement.

Following a string of retirements by Democrats in swing districts, most had been watching for more on that side of the aisle to step down with a difficult political landsape next year. Although more Republicans in the House have announced their retirements than Democrats, Radanovich becomes the first to do so without seeking higher office -- most of the other 12 are running for governor or Senate.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions remains confident the seat will stay in GOP hands. John McCain won California's 19th District with just 52 percent, down significantly from George W. Bush's 61 percent take in 2004. However, 2008 was a strong year for Democrats with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, and 2010 looks far more perilous for Dems in GOP-leaning districts.

"I am confident that the Republican nominee will emerge victorious from this race and will follow in Congressman Radanovich's legacy of fiscal responsibility and limited government," Sessions said in a released statement. "As George did for so long, the Republican in this race will also fight for the Central Valley's agricultural and water supply interests."

Radanovich endorsed State Sen. Jeff Denham in his retirement statement this afternoon. The 8-term congressman ran unopposed in 2008 and never won re-election with less than 60 percent of the vote.

The retirement of Radanovich, first elected to Congress in 1994 when the GOP took back Congress, means no more than 14 Republicans from that class will remain in the House in 2011.