Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, won't go through another reelection battle this year, Politico reports based on "several sources familiar with his plans." The formal announcement is expected this week, the site says. By the way, he is 75, not 65.
McKeon, 65 [sic], is departing from the southern California seat he was elected to in 1992. Since then, he has won reelection by comfortable margins. He became chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in 2011, after Republicans regained control of the House.
His retirement comes as little surprise - Republicans on Capitol Hill and California have been buzzing about the possibility for months. It will set the stage for a potentially competitive general election: McKeon is vacating a seat that Mitt Romney only won by two percentage points in 2012.
Two Republicans, former state Sen. Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight, had already made clear they plan to run for the seat in the event McKeon retired.
* Update: McKeon has called a Thursday morning media op in the Rayburn building in Washington.