A top California Republican is retiring from Congress, giving Democrats a prime pick-up opportunity in 2018

  • Republican Rep. Darrell Issa announced Wednesday that he will retire in 2018.
  • Issa’s district in southern California was a primary target for Democrats in the coming election cycle.

WASHINGTON – Republican Rep. Darrell Issa will retire from Congress in 2018, avoiding a difficult campaign fight in a district that has been a primary focus for Democrats in the coming election.

“Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve,” Issa said in a statement on Wednesday. “Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District.”

Issa was one of 23 Republicans who narrowly retained their House seats in districts also won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

But in 2018, the Democrats’ efforts to unseat Issa already began snowballing. Billionaire mega-donor Tom Steyer had dedicated $US30 million to taking on Republicans in 2018, with Issa’s wealthy southern California district as a key race.

“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,” he added.

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