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California Rep. Darrell Issa not seeking re-election in 2018

California Rep. Darrell Issa not seeking re-election in 2018”

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa announced Wednesday that he will retire in 2018.

Issa's decision continues a string of GOP lawmakers who have chose to retire rather than take on what would be a hard re-election battle. Issa routinely ripped into Mr. Obama, his aides and cabinet, as well as their handling of a gunrunning investigation known as Fast and Furious, the Internal Revenue Service's slow-walking of political groups' applications for nonprofit status, the terrorist attack on an American government compound in Benghazi, Libya, and many other matters.

Still, there is agreement that Issa faced a tough reelection fight in the fall.

Issa said "there are plenty of people that fit the district just fine" and predicted reporters would be covering just as many Republicans entering the race as Democrats already competing in the primary.

The congressional district Issa has represented since 2001 - California's 49th - is one of 23 won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that are currently held by Republicans, who are now considered vulnerable in this November's congressional elections.

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"The reality is that America is better for the previous year of this administration and this Congress", Issa said.

"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", Issa said in a statement Wednesday morning.

Earlier this week, Issa's colleague Rep. Ed Royce - also a Republican - announced his retirement, freeing up another seat that could flip to Democrats in 2018. Hillary Clinton won the district by almost 7 points in the 2016 election. California does not hold partisan primaries, but rather has a "jungle" primary that sends two candidates of any party to the November general election.

But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee suggested otherwise.

"We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats' battle royal: black and blue, and broke", Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, the NRCC's chairman, said in a statement.



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