SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018 and will retire.
Issa, who represents coastal areas of San Diego County and a part of Orange County, issued the following statement regarding his decision:
"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."
The former chairman of the House Oversight Committee narrowly won re-election in 2016 against Democrat Doug Applegate. In the 2016 race, Issa received 50.3% of the vote, compared to 49.7% for Applegate. Final state numbers showed Applegate defeating Issa when it came to voters from San Diego (123,167-108,215). However, Issa received overwhelming support from voters in Orange County (47,673-31,100), leading to the final slim margin.
RELATED: Reaction to Issa announcement pours in
Issa was widely considered the most vulnerable incumbent in the House going into the 2018 election. The richest man in Congress, he has already drawn a handful of well-funded opponents.
Retiring Rep Darrell Issa is the richest member of Congress. https://t.co/FsxQk0DJnM#CA49 pic.twitter.com/kkU0S7il3r
— OpenSecrets.org (@OpenSecretsDC) January 10, 2018
Issa, 64, did not give a reason for his decision nor did he elaborate on any of his future plans.