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Darrell Issa, a California Republican, Will Not Seek Re-election to House

Darrell Issa, a California Republican, Will Not Seek Re-election to House

Darrell Issa of California announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election after serving out his ninth term in Congress. He presided over contentious hearings into the attack on the USA embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

Issa was a national figure and a staple on cable talk shows when he chaired the House Oversight House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from from 2011 to 2015.

On Tuesday one of Issa's California colleagues, Rep. Ed Royce, also announced that he would not seek reelection.

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.

Whether Issa's seat flips remains to be seen: although Hillary Clinton carried the district in the 2016 presidential elections, Inside Elections on Wednesday called the race for Issa's seat a toss-up.

Issa, who represents north coastal San Diego and south Orange counties, is the latest California Republican to announce his retirement ahead of what is likely to be a Democratic wave in the 2018 congressional elections.

Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve.

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Issa released an announcement on his decision, in which he called his 18 years in Congress "the privilege of a lifetime". He is also chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

In a statement, Issa said that "with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California's 49th District".

Royce's district backed Clinton by 8 percentage points.

California holds a jungle primary, which means the top two finishers - regardless of party - advance to the general election. "While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats - and that's how we plan to win".

Yet another Republican congressman is choosing to retire rather than run for reelection, leaving the GOP's hold on the House of Representatives in further peril.

"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.