Rep. Watson (D-Calif.) to retire
Updated 5:51 p.m. ET
By Ben Pershing
Rep. Diane Watson plans to announce that she will retire at the end of this Congress, vacating a Southern California seat that is almost certain to remain in the Democratic column.
A Watson aide said the 76-year-old lawmaker would make her retirement decision public at a press conference Thursday morning in her district.
Watson is the 13th House Democrat to decide against seeking reelection this cycle. Seventeen Republicans have made the same choice -- though the seats they are vacating tend less to be in districts analysts view as contested -- after Rep. Vern Ehlers (Mich.) made his announcement Wednesday.
Watson's 33rd district takes in a significant chunk of West Los Angeles and stretches north to parts of Hollywood. The seat is heavily Democratic, having given President Obama 87 percent of the vote in 2008. Watson has been reelected by huge margins since she first took the seat in a 2001 special election.
The Los Angeles Times reports that state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D) is expected to announce that she will run for Watson's seat.
February 10, 2010; 3:11 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Election , Capitol Briefing
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