Updated: 2:40 p.m.Eight-term Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) announced Tuesday that he is retiring, citing his wife’s health.“As many already know, Ethie has been valiantly fighting ovarian cancer for nearly three years,— Radanovich said in a statement. “My family needs me, and I intend to be by their side to win this battle.—His departure ends the string of Democratic retirement announcements that wracked the party over the past month. However, unlike the Democratic seats, Radanovich’s retirement is unlikely to create a competitive race in the heavily Republican 19th district, which sits in the San Joaquin Valley and encompasses parts of Fresno and Modesto as well as Turlock and Madera.Radanovich won re-election in 2008 with 98 percent of the vote. He was, however, facing a potential primary battle against former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson. But Radanovich also announced Tuesday that he was backing Republican state Sen. Jeff Denham as his replacement.“Given his already proven record as a candidate and elected official, I will do everything in my power to help him win in June and November of next year. I will urge all of my supporters to join his already growing list of endorsers,— Radanovich said.And the party establishment is likely to rally around Denham, who is well-regarded in both California and national Republican circles.National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) issued a statement Tuesday on Radanovich’s announcement.”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.”George has been a wonderful friend and colleague to me and all who have had the honor of serving with him in Congress. My thoughts and prayers are with George, Ethie and their son as they fight this battle,” Sessions added, in reference to Radanovich’s wife’s fight with ovarian cancer.