Report: Issa eyeing Duncan Hunter's House seat

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 20:33:15-05

(KGTV) - Republican Congressman Darrell Issa may not be running to keep the seat in the House of Representatives he's held for 18 years, but he may not be out of Congress at all.

A reporter from The Hill says Issa is eyeing embattled Congressman Duncan Hunter's seat one district over.

Right now, Issa is holding a seat in a North County coastal district heavily targeted by charged up Democrats. But Hunter, who is under investigation for possible campaign finance violations, is in a heavily Republican region, consisting of Lakeside, Ramona and Escondido.

Local political consultant John Dadian called the possibility the worst kept secret in Washington, D.C. over the last two weeks.

Issa on Wednesday announced he wouldn't be running for re-election specifically in the 49th Congressional District, telling ABC News he still believed he would have won. Issa barely beat Democrat Col. Doug Applegate in 2016, and political analysts said 2018 would be even harder.

"I'm old enough to know it's time to go and I still have energy left to do something productive," he said. 

Issa, who lives in Vista, would not have to move into the district because Congressional representatives only have to live in the same state as their constituents. A call to Issa's spokesman was not returned.

In a statement, Hunter would not address the campaign finance allegations, but said he's committed to defending his seat. 

"I have run every race with full effort because my constituents deserve no less and this time is no different.  I appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of the 50th Congressional District, my values reflect their values, and there remains much work to do," he said. 

Voters in Lakeside had mixed reactions to Issa joining the race. 

Rick Harrell said he supports Hunter.

"He's always been a veterans advocate, I always appreciated that being a veteran myself," he said. 

But Jeff Strohminger said he prefers an entirely fresh face. 

"I was a registered Republican for a long time, but it seems like I've voted more Democrat," he said. "I'm waiting to see if someone will run for this seat that I can support."