Republican Issa is retiring: another prominent GOPer calls it quits
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a controversial GOPer inside and outside of his state who was considered one of 2018’s most vulnerable Republican’s up for re-election, has decided to call it quits. Just like a growing batch of Republicans. His retirement is likely to be a blow to the increasingly weak Republican Party in California, and also bolster Democratic hopes of taking back the House.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced Wednesday that he will not seek reelection this year, increasing Democrats’ chances of flipping his swing district in their favor.
Issa barely won reelection in 2016 by just over half a percentage point in a San Diego-area district that went for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by about 7 points.
“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,” Issa said in a statement.
The former House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman faced a tough path to reelection in an increasingly Democratic district. The lack of a 17-year incumbent will now make it easier for Democrats to win the district as they seek to win back the House this year.
Issa’s retirement offers yet another boon to House Democrats in California.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who also represents a district won by Clinton, announced on Monday that he won’t seek reelection this year either.
Royce won reelection by 14 points even though Clinton carried his district by nearly 9 points, compared to Issa’s razor-thin margin.
“California Republicans clearly see the writing on the wall and realize that their party and its priorities are toxic to their reelection chances in 2018,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesman Drew Godinich.
Issa has faced weekly protests over the past year, with roughly 300 people gathering each week — and sometimes more than double that number — outside his Vista office. The protests have sometimes been general and other times targeted specific decisions or issues like health care or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
…“California Republicans clearly see the writing on the wall and realize that their party and its priorities are toxic to their re-election chances in 2018,” said Drew Godinich, an official with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Meanwhile, on Twitter:
The Trump "tax cuts" that Issa voted for raised taxes on his California constituents. Turns out he had no political survival strategy for that. https://t.co/fdBYobM1SU
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) January 10, 2018
??BOOM Darrell Issa is retiring; cast the deciding vote for Trumpcare. #BlueWave2018
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) January 10, 2018
Just looked it up: Issa’s 49-CA district is 16/435 for median home price. Royce’s 39th is 21st. Loss of state & local deductibility must be a huge issue there
— David Frum (@davidfrum) January 10, 2018
Heartbroken by the Issa news. He deserved the justice of a humiliating defeat.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 10, 2018
Just in: Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has announced he will not seek re-election.
— NPR (@NPR) January 10, 2018
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) January 10, 2018
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) January 10, 2018