Darrell Issa to Retire After 2018, Boosting Nancy Pelosi’s Hopes

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law oversight hearing on "Competition in the Video and Broadband Markets: Proposed Merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable", on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced on Wednesday morning that he will not seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives, boosting Democrats’ hopes for a “wave” election that could see House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recover the Speaker’s gavel.


The Congressman issued a statement on his decision to leave office:

Two decades ago, when I stepped away from the business I’d built to enter public service, I never could have imagined that a long-shot bid for U.S. Senate would lead to 18 years in the House of Representatives and endless opportunities to make a meaningful impact.

From the first successful recall of a sitting Governor in California history, to establishing new and stronger standards for government accountability, to protecting the Internet from harmful regulation, and enacting the nation’s first open data standards, we attempted and achieved much in the service of our nation.

Together, we put an end to abusive Congressional earmarks, strengthened the Violence Against Women Act, empowered better oversight of the executive branch, and cleared the course for better intellectual property protections to stop the piracy of American ingenuity.

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.

I am forever grateful to the people of San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties for their support and affording me the honor of serving them all these years. Most humbling for me — and for anyone who represents this area — has been the special privilege of representing the Marines and Sailors of Camp Pendleton and their families. On countless occasions, and in every corner of the world I met them, I was inspired by their bravery and humbled by their sacrifice to keep us all safe from harm.

Representing you has been the privilege of a lifetime.

While my service to California’s 49th District will be coming to an end, I will continue advocating on behalf of the causes that are most important to me, advancing public policy where I believe I can make a true and lasting difference, and continuing the fight to make our incredible nation an even better place to call home.

During his 2016 re-election bid, long-time congressman Issa held on to his seat with a razor-thin margin against the Democrat in the race.

Issa’s announcement follows the announcement Monday by fellow California Republican Rep. Ed Royce that he would retire after this year. Though Issa’s district is largely in San Diego County, both men represent parts of Orange County, a traditional Republican stronghold that has trended Democratic in recent years and that backed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

California Republicans were also skittish about the new $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions in President Trump’s new tax reform, which could hit wealthy taxpayers hard in the Golden State.

Democrats must win 24 seats in the House to re-take the majority. Royce and Issa’s retirements improve their chances of winning those two seats, allowing them to focus on races elsewhere.

However, Issa has faced tough challenges for several years in a row, meaning that a stronger Republican candidate could theoretically win the seat.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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