Former Congressman Darrell Issa officially tossed his hat into the 2020 ring Thursday.

Issa served as a Congressman from 2001 to 2019 where he eventually became Chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

Rep. Duncan Hunter currently represents California’s 50th district. Hunter and his wife were recently indicted for “charges including conspiracy, wire fraud, and violating campaign finance laws,” reports the WaEx:

Issa is now running against Hunter in a military-heavy district that encompasses the central and northeastern parts of San Diego County. Under California’s election rules, the top two vote-getters face off against each other no matter what party. So, a Republican-on-Republican fight is realistic in the 50th District, where the GOP has an 11-point voter registration edge.

In August 2018, Hunter and his wife were indicted on charges including conspiracy, wire fraud, and violating campaign finance laws. In June, his wife pleaded guilty to corruption and named him as a co-conspirator in using campaign funds for personal expenses. His trial begins in February 2020, weeks ahead of the March primary.

Issa’s announcement prompted other Republican candidates to bow out and throw their support behind the former Congressman. From the Times of San Diego:

Issa, 65, held a morning news conference to announce the launch of his campaign and was joined by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn, former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and former U.S. Navy SEAL Larry Wilske, who were all running for the seat before the announcement.

All four candidates elected to drop out of the race and throw their support behind Issa, who also received an endorsement from San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

The race also includes former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio and state Sen. Brian Jones.

Issa declined a re-election run in the 49th District in 2018 after winning his 2016 bid by less than one percentage point. Last September, President Donald Trump nominated him to be the director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, but his Senate confirmation process has remained stalled since then.


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