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Top GOP Lawmaker Flees Congress Ahead Of The 2020 Elections: ‘I Quit’

Republican Congressman Paul Cook, who represents one of California’s most conservative congressional districts, announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2020, joining a parade of GOP retirements that has rattled the party over the last few weeks.

The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times. The announcement comes the same day that President Donald Trump is making a fundraising swing through the state, with stops scheduled in Palo Alto, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Cook, a fourth-term lawmaker who serves on the House Armed Services and Natural Resources committees, was backed by Trump in his race last year against former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly.

The GOP’s once-powerful California delegation saw its ranks decimated after Democrats flipped seven seats in the 2018 midterm elections, including in former GOP-strongholds like Orange County, leaving just seven districts represented by Republicans.

The growing list of retiring Republicans, which now tops over a dozen, including some in key battleground states like Texas, is fueling speculation that GOP lawmakers are growing pessimistic about their chances of winning back the House.

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