I have known Ed Royce going back to the late-80’s. Back then, he was a California State Senator and I was a brand-new activist with Young Americans for Freedom, a great conservative youth organization of which Royce himself if an alumnus. Of course now Royce is a long-serving Member of Congress (he was first elected in 1992) and is really doing a great job. Despite having served in the House of Representatives for nearly two decades, Royce continues to possess the enthusiasm, energy and passion that he had the day he first walked under the Capitol Dome. So many Members of Congress become “institutionalized” and become distant from the cause — but not Royce. Royce combines his unflagging energy with fierce determination to make a difference. Not only is he well regarded as a legislator, especially noted for his expertise in the areas of finance and foreign policy, but equally importantly is that he is totally engaged on the political side. For years Royce has been a leader within the National Republican Congressional Committee, and continues to be a key leader on party issues at the state and county levels. To be honest, I couldn’t be more proud of him.
This spontaneous testimonial for Congressman Royce comes just a day or so after the decision by Congressman Jerry Lewis to retire, and the immediate subsequent action of Congressman Gary Miller announcing that he will run for the seat Lewis would have run for — until now Royce and Miller were locked in a battle for re-election against one another as redistricting caused their districts to merge.
I should add that for me, Ed Royce is much more than a great conservative Congressman. He is a friend, a mentor and an adviser. He is someone that is always there is offer advice about anything, and perhaps telling of his humility, he is always asking for advice in input in every aspect of how he does his job. Long ago I had a chance both to intern for then-Senator Royce in the State Capitol, and I also spent the better part of two years on his inaugural Congressional staff. Those were great times to be sure. But now, many years later, I realize that my friendship with Ed Royce was only just beginning.
Congressman, congratulations on avoiding a bruising re-election battle. While I know you would have won re-election over Miller, this outcome is far superior — for everyone. Besides recapturing sanity in yours and Marie’s life, and dropping the stress level, I know that you will not be freed up to do a lot of great things for the conservative cause and for Republicans in Congress during this important 2012 election year.
Here’s to many more years of fighting for freedom!