California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa won't run for re-election

Posted January 11, 2018

Rep. Darrell Issa of California announced his retirement on Wednesday, according to CNN.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers called Issa's plans to step away from his seat "a great loss for the institution and the American people".

Credit Mr. TinDC  Flikr
Credit Mr. TinDC Flikr

Issa said "there are plenty of people that fit the district just fine" and predicted reporters would be covering just as many Republicans entering the race as Democrats already competing in the primary. Applegate quickly declared he would mount a re-match in in 2018. Fellow veteran Southern California lawmaker Ed Royce, of Orange County, revealed Monday he, too, will leave Congress after 2018.

With many observers expecting a Democratic wave in November, some vulnerable Republicans are rushing to get out of the way. "Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California's 49th District". In 2016, the district's voters preferred Clinton by 8 points over Republican Donald Trump.

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"As evidenced by his work as Oversight Chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa is a fearless protector of integrity in government". For a year, hundreds of activists have appeared weekly outside of Issa's office to protest.

Applegate, a retired Marine colonel, and three other Democrats are running: Businessman Paul Kerr, environmental attorney Mike Levin and Sara Jacobs, who worked in foreign policy at the State Department and United Nations. California does not hold partisan primaries, but rather has a "jungle" primary that sends two candidates of any party to the November general election.

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Representative Steve Stivers of OH, the chairman of the Republican campaign arm, predicted that a contentious Democratic primary would leave the eventual nominee "black and blue, and broke".

"California Republicans clearly see the writing on the wall and realize that their party and its priorities are toxic to their re-election chances in 2018", Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Drew Godinich said.

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Republicans, meanwhile, say they will benefit from the fight between the Democrats seeking to claim the seat.