Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., announced on Thursday his retirement after more than three decades in Congress.
“I will not seek reelection to the Congress in 2012. After months of consultation with loved ones and family, my wife Arlene and I have decided to retire from public life," Lewis said in a statement.
Lewis, a former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and the dean of the California delegation, was drawn into a less favorable district in 2012. He is the third California Republican to announce their retirement this week, following Reps. Wally Herger and Elton Gallegly.
The current Congressional District – now the 41st - takes in the East San Bernardino Valley, the San Bernardino Mountains and a portion of the Mojave Desert, along with part of the San Jacinto Valley and Desert Hot Springs in Riverside County. The California Redistricting Commission further segmented the district this year, leaving Lewis’s home in a district that stretches from Redlands to Rancho Cucamonga in the San Bernardino Valley.
Lewis, who has served 17 terms in Congress, last year sought to return to the chairmanship of the House Appropriations panel when Republicans regained the House majority in the 2010 congressional elections. But party leaders instead chose Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. Over his years on the panel, Rogers has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to his Southern California area.
Billy House contributed