Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) will not seek re-election this year, which means the Democrats could possibly pick up another seat. He wrote:
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.
Issa became a congressman in 2001. He served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee from 2011 to 2015, which shot him to fame due to his determination to find answers over Operation Fast and Furious, the gun running scheme that led to the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
He won re-election in 2016 by less than a percentage point. Failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won his district by 8%.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee promised to make the district blue. From The Washington Examiner:
“In the 49th district, Democrats are locked in what is fast becoming one of the bloodiest primaries in America. While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats – and that’s how we plan to win. We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats’ battle royale: black and blue, and broke.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in response, promised to flip the district.
“The cohort of strong Democratic challengers, unprecedented grassroots activism, and historic investment by the DCCC in Southern California means we are in a strong position to elect a Democrat to the 49th District this fall,” the DCCC statement read.
I’m about 99% sure the district will fall to the Democrats. The party has determination to take back the House, but needs 25 seats to flip it. They’ve eyed districts within Orange County for awhile since Hillary dominated the area and California has shown a stronger blue wave. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) also announced his retirement, which would give them another seat.
Royce and Issa’s districts are both in expensive television markets — further stretching national Republicans who are on defense across dozens of districts in the 2018 midterm elections.
Early in the 2018 election cycle, Democrats identified the Orange County-area Republican seats as top targets.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hired local organizers in both Royce and Issa’s districts in February 2017, and opened a regional office in Orange County for the first time in April.
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