Devin Nunes Is Leaving Congress Before Potential Defeat in Redrawn District

( The House is losing a Republican member at the end of this year, as California Representative Devin Nunes announced this week that he would leave Congress to take a position with a new media company established by former President Donald Trump.

Nunes, who represents the 22nd congressional district in California, will serve as the new CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group. The former president set up the company in February of this year.

Nunes won re-election to his post last year by more than 8 points, but it was possible that his future in the position would be shaky, as California’s redistricting efforts could make his district much more liberal.

Many Republicans were taken off guard by the decision Nunes made this week, as the GOP is hoping to regain control of the House following the 2022 midterm elections. If the GOP were to regain control, Nunes was likely going to be named the chair of the Ways and Means Committee. That position is often considered one of the most powerful and influential chairmanships in the lower chamber.

The redistricting outlook for Nunes’ district could have played a role in the congressman’s decision to step aside. His district in California’s San Joaquin Valley currently includes a majority of the eastern part of Fresno County and the western part of Tulare County, which are historically conservative.

The new redistricting plan following the 2020 Census might result in conservative voters being removed from Nunes’ district and replaced by more liberal voters from south Fresno.

These final redistricting maps are expected to be revealed on December 27, only a few days before Nunes will officially depart from Congress.

The Trump Media & Technology Group issued a statement on the hiring on Monday, in which Nunes said:

“The time has come to reopen the Internet and allow for the free flow of ideas and expression without censorship. The United States of America made the dream of the Internet a reality and it will be an American company that restores the dream. I’m humbled and honored President Trump has asked me to lead the mission and the world class team that will deliver on this promise.”

With Nunes leaving, California will hold a special election to fill the seat in the 22nd district for next year. Then, the seat will be up for election again during the 2022 midterms in what could be a hotly-contested seat as Republicans and Democrats jostle for control of the House going forward.

The district was already becoming more competitive even before the redistricting efforts. In 2012, former President Barack Obama lost in the 22nd district by 15 points. In 2020, though, President Joe Biden only lost by six points — showing how much more liberal the district has already become.

With redistricting, it could become even more liberal, leading to a tough fight ahead for Republicans in the region.