The richest member of Congress, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (CA), announced he will retire this year — increasing Democrats’ chances of flipping his swing district in their favor in a district that Trump lost in 2016 by seven points.
Issa barely won reelection in 2016 by just over half a percentage point in a San Diego-area district that went for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by about 7 points.
“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 re-election in California’s 49th District,” Issa said in a statement.
The former House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman faced a tough path to reelection in an increasingly Democratic district. The lack of a 17-year incumbent will now make it easier for Democrats to win the district as they seek to win back the House this year.
Issa’s retirement offers yet another boon to House Democrats in California.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who also represents a district won by Clinton, announced on Monday that he won’t seek reelection this year either.
Issa became the 31st Republican who won’t bother running for re-election — a staggering number at this point — with five Republican incumbents announcing their retirement in the first 10 days of the new year.
Every poll shows a massive wave election coming, marking the best pickup opportunity for progressives to gain power over entrenched insiders on both sides of the aisle.
“Democrats need only 24 seats in the House and two in the Senate to claim majorities in both chambers — and with Republican incumbents quitting in huge numbers, like rats abandoning a sinking ship, progressives must seek to elect representatives who will take America in a fundamentally new direction,” said Lisa McCormick, who is leading efforts to recruit newcomers as political candidates throughout New Jersey.
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