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Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga, said today he will not seek reelection, boosting Democrats' chances of a pickup in the Inland Empire.

The eight-term congressman announced his retirement in a brief statement Wednesday, saying "while there is still a lot of work to be done, it is now time for me to pass the baton."

His departure marks the latest in a series of veteran California representatives to step down.

Miller was regarded as among the most endangered incumbents in the nation, representing a redrawn district in which Democrats enjoy a 7 percent voter-registation edge and President Barack Obama won by16 points in 2012.

Miller survived his last race by advancing to an intraparty runoff against former state Sen. Bob Dutton under the state's new top-two primary system.

The 31st district covers Redlands and San Bernardino and stretches through Upland and Rancho Cucamonga. It features a trio of Democratic challengers in Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, lawyer Eloise Gomez Reyes and former Rep. Joe Baca.

While that race favors Democrats, California Republicans are threatening in a handful of other districts, including in Sacramento, San Diego and Palm Springs.

Miller's resignation follows recent retirement announcements of Republican Reps. Buck McKeon of Santa Clarita and John Campbell of Irvine and Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman of Beverly Hills and George Miller of Martinez. None of the seats are expected to change partisan hands.

Nationally, 11 incumbent House Republicans and 7 Democrats have said they will not seek reelection this year.

PHOTO: Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga



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