February 10th, 2010
02:46 PM ET
13 years ago

California Democratic congresswoman to retire

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/10/art.watson.file.gi.jpg caption=" Rep. Diane Watson will retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election, three Democratic sources tell CNN."]Washington (CNN) - Rep. Diane Watson will retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election, three Democratic sources tell CNN.

Watson, 76, represents California's 33rd congressional district, which includes parts West Los Angles and Culver City. The four-term congresswoman won a special election in 2001and re-election to full terms in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008.

The district is considered overwhelmingly Democratic. Watson has won at least 80 percent of the vote in each of her re-election contests. Barack Obama took the district by 75 points in the 2008 presidential election and John Kerry won the district by 67 points in the 2004 presidential contest.

Watson's congressional office tells CNN that the congresswoman has scheduled a news conference for Thursday, but would not confirm the retirement.

Confirmation of Watson's retirement comes hours after Republican Rep. Vern Ehlers of Michigan announced that he will not run for re-election in November.

Watson will become the seventh House Democrat to retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election, but the first from a district considered safe for the party.

Separately, Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida stepped down at the beginning of the year, to head up the Center for Middle East Peace. A special election will be held on April 13 for the seat, which is considered safe for the Democrats. Six other House Democrats are running for statewide offices rather than re-election in November.

Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania died on Monday. A special election will be held for his seat later this year.

Ehlers becomes the fifth House Republican to retire rather than run for re-election. Eleven other House Republicans are making bids for higher office rather than run for re-election.

Watson's retirement was first reported by CQ-Roll Call.

Filed under: 2010 • California
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Old Farmboy

    Thanks CNN, I didn't have to look her up to find out what party she's in. I'm impressed.

    February 10, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I wonder if the tea baggers will put up a candidate in this district.

    February 10, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. jules sand-perkins

    If I were a Democrat in the House or the Senate, I would have to consider retirement soon regardless of my age.

    February 10, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    All these old people should have been gone long time ago whether they are Democrat or Republican, we can still respect their services after they retire, but right now it's time for them to go. Take John McCain with you, he is all the more reason we need term limits.

    February 10, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Dar

    At 76 I would retire too, enjoy Diane

    February 10, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Jane/Seattle

    Dang! I was hoping it was someone else.

    February 10, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    They are qutting left and right (no Pun intended). More better follow their lead because come fall the voters will retire them all, no matter what party they belong to.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    February 10, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Slave labor toyotas are great,hahaha

    I hope the terminators wife gets the job.

    February 10, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. SLM

    And not a moment too soon. California needs to rid itself of all these tax and spend liberals................ we are bankrupt because of them.

    February 10, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. R.O.B.

    I'm glad to see a lot of these congressmen and congresswomen who are over 70 years old retiring. This will open the door for the younger generation to finally start taking over. I'm 30 years old. What could a 70 + year old and myself possibly have in common as far as lifestyle goes?

    February 10, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    Another 76 year old leaving Congress. This time a DEM! Looks like that Congressional retirement home needs a bailout!

    February 10, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. SocialismBad

    And another one bites the dust... GOOD RIDDANCE and enjoy BANKRUPT CALIFORNIA!!

    February 10, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Barb2775

    Slowly but surely, the American people are having their voices heard. The politicians would rather go down as winners than suffer defeat. They will get a hefty retirement package, insurance, and a lot of perks that they do not deserve. But, I wish that they all pack up and leave. The taxpayers have suffered enough!! Our current leaders are so inept. One by one they are getting the message. They already know that they will not be re-elected. It is better for them that they quit while they are ahead!! We have more politicians to go!!! 2010 may be great year after all.

    February 10, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Felonious Monk

    The crime here is that they are retiring, and not being forced out by term limints...How much is her pension going to cost taxpayers?

    February 10, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    63% of all American voters want to kick all incumbent politicians out of office this coming November. If this parade of retirements keeps up, it will save us the effort of kicking them out.

    February 10, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Obama Victim

    scratch another left wingnut...........and the bloodbath continues

    February 10, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |