Republican US Representative Issa of California to retire: statement

Republican US Representative Issa of California to retire: statement

Issa announced that he will not seek reelection from the 49th Congressional district of California, which he represented for 18 years.

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. He presided over contentious hearings into the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

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.

The Southern California Republican, who is the wealthiest member of Congress, was almost unseated in 2016 in when Democrat Douglas Applegate came within fewer than 2,000 votes of the incumbent.

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Democrats noted that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the district by a large margin.

But Issa's hold on his San Diego-area district became increasingly tenuous in recent years, and he only barely fended off a Democratic challenger in 2016.

"As evidenced by his work as Oversight Chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa is a fearless protector of integrity in government".

"Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve", he said.

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On Tuesday, another Southern California Republican, Rep. Ed Royce, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, announced he too would not run for reelection.

His bill which has already passed the House Judiciary Committee is now gaining momentum in the House and might come up for vote soon.

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

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee immediately released a statement crediting grassroots activism in the district.

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