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jerrylewis.JPGRep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, announced Thursday he will be retiring at the end of the current Congress.

Lewis, 77, has served in the House since 1979, making him one of California's most senior and highly placed lawmakers. He was the first Californian to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and he has long prided himself on his ability to steer federal funds toward California.

"After months of consultation with loved ones and family, my wife Arlene and I have decided to retire from public life," Lewis said in a statement. "We are deeply grateful to so many who have provided their support over the years. I have worked hard to justify that support."

Lewis becomes the sixth California lawmaker to announce a stepping-down at the end of the 112th Congress.

PHOTO CAPTION: Representative Jerry Lewis


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