A day after announcing he would retire at the end of 2018, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) has weighed in on who should replace him.
Royce has endorsed former state legislator Young Kim, a one-term assemblywoman who was unseated in a 2016 rematch with Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva. Kim worked in Royce’s district office before being elected to the Assembly.
“I can attest to Young’s dedication and abilities because she worked for me for almost 20 years,” Royce said in a statement. “She knows our district, its people and its needs. She is a tireless and dedicated public servant.”
About a quarter of Royce’s constituents reside in the district she represented. Kim had been running for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, which is being vacated by fellow Republican Shawn Nelson. Kim went live with a congressional campaign website and social media accounts immediately after Royce’s endorsement was announced. Kim will drop her campaign for the county seat and open a campaign committee with the Federal Elections Commission in the coming days, said Dave Gilliard, campaign consultant to both Royce and Kim.
Royce’s endorsement could help Republicans coalesce support behind a single candidate, a crucial step if they stand a chance of retaining Royce’s seat in the midterms.
Along with Nelson, other Republicans whose names have been floated as potential candidates include former Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, former Orange County GOP chairman Scott Baugh, former state senator Bob Huff and Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel.
A half dozen Democrats have already opened campaign committees to run in Royce’s district.
6:49 p.m.: This post has been updated with additional context. This post was originally published at 6:08 p.m.