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California’s Watson to Retire

Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) has decided to retire at the end of this Congress, a Democratic source confirmed to Roll Call on Wednesday.

Watson, 76, is the second House Member whose retirement has been confirmed today. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) announced Wednesday morning that he is not going to seek a 10th term in November.

Watson is in her fourth full term representing California’s 33rd district, which takes in West Los Angeles and Culver City. Watson won a 2001 special election in the heavily Democratic district and has successfully defended her seat since then with 80 percent of the vote or more.

Speculation about possible successors has centered on former state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, who would be a favorite to win a Democratic primary should she run. Republicans are not expected to compete for the seat.

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