Republican Rep. Darrell Issa Announces Retirement from Congress

Rep. Ed Royce

Vista Republican Darrell Issa will not run for a 10th term in Congress, giving Democrats a much better chance of flipping a once reliable California Republican seat.

Issa's decision continues a string of GOP lawmakers who have chose to retire rather than take on what would be a hard re-election battle. 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 is a longtime nemesis of the Democrats and then-President Barack Obama.

Issa was first elected to the House in 2000, and served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee from 2011 to 2015.

Generally described as the richest member of Congress, Issa bankrolled the successful 2003 effort to recall California governor Gray Davis, leading to the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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. It's among seven Republican-held districts in California that Hillary Clinton won that year, carrying Issa's by 8 percentage points.

"As evidenced by his work as Oversight Chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa is a fearless protector of integrity in government. Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek reelection in California's 49th District", he said in a statement.

Those activists have protested weekly outside Issa's Vista, California, district office - leading to a odd scene in May in which Issa stood on his rooftop, looking down at the protesters below. "We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats' battle royale: black and blue, and broke".

Yet another Republican congressman is choosing to retire rather than run for reelection, leaving the GOP's hold on the House of Representatives in further peril.

"While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats - and that's how we plan to win", Stivers said.

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