Republican Rep. David Dreier announced that he will not seek reelection on Wednesday, succumbing to the new citizens-drawn California districts that he once tried to overturn. The Los Angeles Times and Politico both report that the announcement by Dreie, who chairs the powerful House Rules Committee, wasn't surprising, considering he would have face an uphill battle in his redrawn district. Back in August, The Los Angeles Times' Rich Simon predicted Dreier's downfall: "New political maps threaten to cost California political clout in Washington by placing Dreier's San Dimas home in inhospitable territory for a Republican and robbing some of the state's other senior House members of their job security." What Simon means when he called the San Dimas district "inhospitable territory for a Republican", is that San Dimas, as the Times reports today, is a "Latino-majority district where Democrat Barack Obama defeated Republican John McCain in the last presidential race." The Times also adds that Dreier once organized a petition drive to overturn his threatened, redrawn district, but that never came to fruition because some of his Republican colleagues were divided over the idea. But since politicians can't really say, "I was screwed over and was placed in an impossible-to-win district" , Dreier opted for the higher road:
“I take the unusual step of announcing this from the floor of Congress for two reasons,” Dreier said. “First, this is where my fellow Californians sent me to represent them. Second, I am a proud institutionalist, and I believe that this institution is as great as it has ever been."
The team over at Politico are already playing "who's next" when it comes to who takes over Dreier's chairmanship at the House Rules Committee--Dreier was the first Californian to chair the committee which chooses which measures go to the House floor. Politico has two leading candidates, Boehner-ally Doc Hastings and Chairman of the National Republican Committee Pete Sessions from Texas. Neither have commented on the vacant position.