Gallegly Retiring From Congress
Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., announced he won't be running for a 14th term Saturday, a decision that allows Republicans to avoid a messy intraparty battle between two veteran members of Congress.
"The decision to step aside at this time did not come lightly. But in the end, Janice and I decided now was the right time to begin the next chapter in our lives. We are truly blessed to have our health, our family, and so many, many friends that we look forward to spending more time with," Gallegly said in a statement.
Gallegly drew a very unfavorable map after redistricting, with his Ventura County-based district growing more Democratic, and his Simi Valley home drawn into the seat of Rep. Buck McKeon, the House Armed Services Committee chairman. Gallegly had entertained the option of challenging McKeon, but he would have started out at a significant disadvantage. McKeon outraised Gallegly significantly ($250,000 to $83,000) in the third fundraising quarter.
Gallegly's decision paves the way for Republican state senator Tony Strickland to run for thenewly-drawn Ventura County based seat, according to California Republican analyst Jon Fleischman. Fleischman reported that Strickland is making plans to run on Flash Report, a California political news website.
An immigration hardliner in Congress, Gallegly mulled retirement in 2006 but Republican leadership persuaded him to stick around at the time, not wanting to defend a potentially-competitive seat.