California's Darrell Issa Becomes the Latest Republican Congressman to Retire Rather Than Lose Re-Election

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Darrell Issa, Republican House member for California’s 49th district, announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election, a boon for Democrats in a competitive swing district. The news was first reported by the OC Daily.


“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 reelection in California’s 49th District,” Issa said in a statement.

Issa, who also happens to be the richest man in Congress, was undoubtedly facing a tough re-election campaign and was widely considered the most vulnerable incumbent in the House. He eked out a win in his last election by fewer than 2,000 votes and his district went for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by more than seven points in 2016. In May, Issa was one of the 14 California Republicans in the House who voted for the American Health Care Act, Trump’s bill to repeal Obamacare.

He’s the latest in of a wave of Republican House members who have announced that they are retiring in recent weeks, many of whom would have faced uphill bids in November’s midterm elections. Earlier this week, California congressman Ed Royce, another vulnerable Republican, also bit the dust, becoming the eighth GOP committee chair to bow out so far. It’s a profile in courage: after selling out their constituents, Republicans are stepping down before they can be kicked out.

Clio Chang is a staff writer at Splinter.