The Campaign Spot

One More Blue Dog Democrat Headed to Retirement?

One more Blue Dog Democrat retirement in the works? Could be:

Dennis Cardoza, who has represented the Northern San Joaquin Valley in Congress for more than eight years, is not denying reports he may retire rather than seek re-election next year.

His 18th Congressional District is expected to splinter Monday when redistricting commissioners take a final vote on political boundaries redrawn after the 2010 census.

Staying in politics could pit Cardoza, D-Merced, against longtime friend and Democratic ally Jim Costa in a district a heartbeat removed from Cardoza’s base in Stanislaus and Merced counties.

Cardoza, 52, was not available for comment Monday and Tuesday. His chief of staff, Robin Winchell Roberts, said, “Congressman Cardoza has not finalized his decision and will not for some time.”

The region isn’t particularly friendly to Republicans – the GOP’s Michael Berryhill won 41.5 percent in 2010 — but Cardoza voted against Pelosi as Speaker at the start of the 112th Congress. That cost him his position on the Rules Committee. He’s now a member of the minority party and not on good terms with Minority Leader Pelosi, which may make the job tougher and less satisfying than in years past.

We on the Right may miss Cardoza; he’s been a tough critic of the Obama administration’s approach to the collapsing real estate market; he sought to remove all funding for travel for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

In interviews, Cardoza said he wanted HUD’s leaders to “plant their butts at their desks and do the job that they were appointed to do.”

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