Issa will not seek re-election after serving ninth term

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa Announces Retirement from Congress

Rep. Darrell Issa announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election this year.

Generally described as the richest member of Congress, Issa bankrolled the successful 2003 effort to recall California governor Gray Davis, leading to the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2016, Issa narrowly won his re-election bid against Democrat Doug Applegate, a retired Marine colonel who has said he will run again this year. Issa's situation was particularly dire because, despite achieving national celebrity as an outspoken conservative firebrand, Issa barely survived his reelection campaign in 2016, besting Democratic candidate Douglas Applegate by less than one percentage point.

"Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve", Issa said in a statement on Wednesday. Billionaire mega-donor Tom Steyer had dedicated $30 million to taking on Republicans in 2018, with Issa's wealthy southern California district as a key race.

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"The reality is that America is better for the past year of this administration and this Congress", Issa said. The Oversight investigation paved the way for the later appointment of a select committee that continued probing the incident as Clinton pursued her run for president.

He almost lost his seat in 2016, besting Democrat Douglas Applegate - among the four Democrats running this year - by less than a percentage point. "Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California's 49th District", Issa explained in an official press statement.

Those activists have protested weekly outside Issa's Vista, California, district office - leading to a odd scene in May in which Issa stood on his rooftop, looking down at the protesters below.

California holds a jungle primary, which means the top two finishers - regardless of party - advance to the general election. "We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats' battle royale: black and blue, and broke". "While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats - and that's how we plan to win".

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