Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Issa the second GOP congressman in 2 days to announce retirement

Rep. Ed Royce Rep. Ed Royce Credit Andrew Harnik AP
Faye Gross | 11 January, 2018, 00:32

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican whose seat was considered vulnerable in the midterm elections, announced Wednesday that he will retire from Congress at the end of this year.

In a statement Wednesday, Issa did not give a reason for his departure but reflected on a two-decade political career that included jump-starting the process that led to the 2003 recall of Democratic California Gov. 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 was a leader of the Republican congressional charge to investigate the Obama administration's handling of the attacks in Benghazi, where the USA ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed by militants on September 11, 2012.

He was first elected in 2000 and in 2010 became chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

In 2016, Issa won reelection by fewer than 2,000 votes over Democratic challenger Doug Applegate in a race that was unresolved for days.

"The reality is that America is better for the a year ago of this administration and this Congress", Issa said.

Credit Mr. TinDC  Flikr
Credit Mr. TinDC Flikr

"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.

Issa has joined more than 30 other congressional Republicans who have announced that they will not seek reelection, which increases the Democratic Party's chances of reclaiming the House of Representatives.

"I feel like I'm going out on top at a time when a generic Republican's going to win my district and I'm going to support the nominee on my side and then I'm going to continue to be very active", he said.

He almost lost his seat in 2016, besting Democrat Douglas Applegate - among the four Democrats running this year - by less than a percentage point. For a year, hundreds of activists have appeared weekly outside of Issa's office to protest.

The National Republican Congressional Committee expressed optimism that the seat will remain red.

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".

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