Republican US Representative Issa of California to retire: statement
Jan 11, 2018, 00:30
Republican North County congressman Darrell Issa today (January 10) announced that he will be retiring from his post in the 49th District this fall.
Issa's decision makes him the 30th Republican House member to not seek re-election this year, a number that has steadily grown in the last several months. The publication Politico called Issa's move "the latest sign of a growing Democratic wave in this year's midterm elections", although North County may not be riding the same wave.
Issa dogged then-President Barack Obama with probes into the 2012 killings of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and IRS mistreatment of conservative groups.
Issa, who made a national name for himself as an Obama administration antagonist while leading a House investigative committee, will not seek another term, NBC News has confirmed.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates California's 49th congressional district as barely leaning Republican by 1-point and put Issa's reelection chances as a toss-up.
Andrew Godinich, a DCCC spokesman, said Democrats are "in a strong position" to claim the seat in November and blamed the Republican legislative agenda for Issa's retirement.
"Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve", Issa said in a statement on Wednesday.
But in 2018, the Democrats' efforts to unseat Issa already began snowballing.
On Tuesday, another Southern California Republican, Rep. Ed Royce, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, announced he too would not run for reelection. "Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California's 49th District", Issa explained in an official press statement. For a year, hundreds of activists have appeared weekly outside of Issa's office to protest. "While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats - and that's how we plan to win".
California holds a jungle primary, which means the top two finishers - regardless of party - advance to the general election.
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".
But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee suggested otherwise.
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