Update: It's being reported that Congressman Issa could fill the void left by Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. in the 50th Congressional District, should a grand jury file criminal charges against Hunter. Issa serves the 49th district, which neighbors the 50th. A Congressman can switch districts as long as they live in the state where that district resides.
"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." - Rep. Darrell Issa, 49th District
In what came as a bit of shocking news, GOP Congressman Darrell Issa announced his intention to retire from Congress.
After nearly two decades in office, the announcement signals the end of a congressional career that was highlighted as the chairman of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee where he was a consistent opponent of the Obama Administration.
Issa's legendary fights with then Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious scandal were hallmarks of his time in Congress. The scandal, where a border patrol agent was shot and killed as part of a government gun running operation, remains a point of contention in Washington, D.C.
FULL STATEMENT FROM ISSA
"Two decades ago, when I stepped away from the business I'd built to enter public service, I never could have imagined that a long-shot bid for U.S. Senate would lead to 18 years in the House of Representatives and endless opportunities to make a meaningful impact.
From the first successful recall of a sitting Governor in California history, to establishing new and stronger standards for government accountability, to protecting the Internet from harmful regulation, and enacting the nation's first open data standards, we attempted and achieved much in the service of our nation.
Together, we put an end to abusive Congressional earmarks, strengthened the Violence Against Women Act, empowered better oversight of the executive branch, and cleared the course for better intellectual property protections to stop the piracy of American ingenuity.
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.
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. Most humbling for me -- and for anyone who represents this area -- has been the special privilege of representing the Marines and Sailors of Camp Pendleton and their families. On countless occasions, and in every corner of the world I met them, I was inspired by their bravery and humbled by their sacrifice to keep us all safe from harm.
Representing you has been the privilege of a lifetime.
While my service to California's 49th District will be coming to an end, I will continue advocating on behalf of the causes that are most important to me, advancing public policy where I believe I can make a true and lasting difference, and continuing the fight to make our incredible nation an even better place to call home."
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE DISTRICT
The race for California’s 49th District is now a free-for-all.
In 2016, Issa narrowly defeated Dem. challenger Doug Applegate by a little more than 1,600 votes. It was the closest margin of any federal contest in the nation, and put a bullseye on the back of Issa, and was viewed as an opportunity for Democrats.