Rep. Darrell Issa announced Wednesday he will not seek another term, adding his name to a growing list of GOP retirements that has some analysts speculating a Democratic wave is coming.
Issa, a Republican representing the San Diego area, was expected to be among the most endangered GOP lawmakers in 2018.
"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.
He won the 2016 election by a slim margin and the district is likely smarting over the GOP tax reform bill that will limit state and local tax deductions, which are significant in San Diego.
Issa's announcement comes a day after House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, also a California Republican, announced he will not seek re-election.
Issa has served in Congress since 2001 and was once chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he used his perch to do battle with the Obama Administration and in particular, the Department of Justice and the IRS.
In the statement, Issa announce he will not seek a 10th term and his Congressional career is “coming to an end.” He pointed to a list of accomplishments.
“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,” Issa said in the statement.
Issa narrowly won his re-election race in 2016 and was his seat is considered a toss-up in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. His district went for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Rep. Steve Stivers, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Republicans in the district would profit off a bruising Democratic primary.
"As evidenced by his work as Oversight Chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa is a fearless protector of integrity in government. His retirement is a great loss for the institution and the American people. We are truly grateful for his service," Stivers said."In the 49th district, Democrats are locked in what is fast becoming one of the bloodiest primaries in America. While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats – and that's how we plan to win. We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats' battle royale: black and blue, and broke."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in response, promised to flip the district.
“The cohort of strong Democratic challengers, unprecedented grassroots activism, and historic investment by the DCCC in Southern California means we are in a strong position to elect a Democrat to the 49th District this fall," the DCCC statement read.