Elections

Following Redistricting, Long-Time California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard Announces Retirement

(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Democratic California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard will not seek reelection to a sixteenth term in Congress, she announced Monday night.

After thirty years in the House of Representatives, the time has come for me to spend more time with my family. Therefore, I have decided not to seek reelection,” she tweeted. Roybal-Allard was the third House Democrat to retire from Congress on Monday, along with New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires and Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy. She is the 23rd House Democrat to retire ahead of the 2022 midterms, and the 36th member of the lower chamber overall.

Roybal-Allard is the fifth California representative to retire ahead of the midterms, joining fellow Democrats Alan Lowenthal, Karen Bass, and Jackie Speier, and Republican Devin Nunes. (RELATED: California Rep. Devin Nunes Announces Retirement, Plans To Join Trump’s New Media Outlet)

Roybal-Allard announced her retirement shortly after California’s Citizen Redistricting Commission finalized the state’s new congressional district map. In the new map, Roybal-Allard’s 40th District is merged with Lowenthal’s 47th District. California lost a seat following the 2020 census, the first time in state history that it had done so.

Democratic Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia declared his candidacy for the new seat Friday, the day after Lowenthal announced his retirement, and is currently running unopposed. The new seat is expected to remain in Democratic hands following the midterms.

California’s new electoral map will benefit the state’s 42 Democratic representatives, all of whom receive districts that supported Joe Biden by more than ten points in the 2020 presidential election, according to Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman. In addition, five of the state’s eleven Republican districts will become more blue, with Rep. Michelle Steel’s new district becoming eight points more Democratic, according to FiveThirtyEight. Democratic Rep. Katie Porter’s new district will become ten points more Republican.

A staunch ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Roybal-Allard’s retirement will open up a seat on the House Appropriations Committee. An advocate for various iterations of the DREAM Act, she introduced pieces of legislation across several congressional sessions that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. She also staunchly opposed former President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.