California Rep. Darrell Issa Won’t Seek Reelection

By on January 10, 2018

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced on Wednesday he will retire at the end of his term rather than run for re-election.

His departure adds to the expanding list of Republican congressmen stepping away from their seats this year. Issa was thought to be among the most vulnerable in the midterms, with his San Diego area district holding consistent protests and rallies voicing their disapproval with his vote in favor of GOP agenda items, such as the Obamacare repeal and tax cuts for the wealthy.

Issa released an official statement confirming his departure.

“Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve. Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District”

Issa won a narrow victory in 2016, but his re-election was becoming more unlikely given his support for the GOP tax bill, which will have a significantly negative impact on San Diego residents who now are faced with limits on the amount of state and local tax they can deduct. He has been in office since 2001 and is the former chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he had numerous spats with the Obama administration and the Justice Department.

The announcement comes on the heels of the news that Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) will also step down. Royce is the current chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Both departures represent an opportunity for Democrats to make significant gains in California. With the 2018 midterm election cycle already beginning to take shape, Republicans already appear to be on the defensive, with several opting not to run for re-election rather than face defeat. As the Mueller probe continues to gain momentum, it will be interesting to see if any more major GOP players suddenly decide to step away from Congress.