Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Republican Representative Darrell Issa to retire

Republican Representative Darrell Issa to retire

Issa's district in southern California was a primary target for Democrats in the coming election cycle.

"Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve", he said in a statement issued in Washington, D.C.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election after serving out his ninth term in Congress.

First elected in 2000, Issa's retirement ends the career of a figure who rose to prominence during former President Barack Obama's tenure, after he took the helm of the House oversight committee following the GOP wave of 2010.

Issa won re-election narrowly in 2016 and faces a number of well-known Democratic challengers in 2018.

Issa did not give a reason for his decision not to pursue a tenth term, but it likely had something to do with the daunting reelection challenge before him.

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Democrats need to flip 24 seats to win the majority in the lower chamber of Congress.

But the 64-year-old walked a shakier line during the new administration. It's among seven Republican-held districts in California that Hillary Clinton won that year, carrying Issa's by 8 percentage points. Applegate had announced plans to again challenge Issa, as have several other Democratic candidates.

Democrats made beating Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in the midterm elections a top priority.

Issa became the second California Republican to retire this week. Both the GOP's health care and tax legislation have been unpopular in California; Issa voted against the tax bill last month after concluding it would hurt his constituents due to the loss of popular individual tax deductions.

"The Republican agenda in Washington has been a direct attack on Californians", DCCC spokesperson Drew Godinich said in a statement.

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