WASHINGTON (UPI) — Rep. Darrell Issa of California announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election this year, increasing Democrats’ chances of flipping his swing district in November.
“Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve,” Issa said in a statement. “Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District.
Issa, who joined the House in 2001, won re-election in 2016 by a half percentage point in a district that favored Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to President Donald Trump.
The absence of the 17-year incumbent will make it easier for Democrats to flip 24 seats to win back the House majority.
Issa was ranked as one of the wealthiest members of Congress and called his time in Congress “the privilege of a lifetime.”
His decision to not seek re-election comes two days after fellow California Republican Rep. Ed Royce announced he also would retire after 2018 following 25 years in the House — leaving his Orange County district open to possible party turnover.
Royce’s district backed Clinton by 8 percentage points.
So far, nearly 30 Republicans and 14 Democrats have announced they are leaving their House seats after this year — and special elections to fill four open seats will be held in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona will be held before the Nov. 6 vote.
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