When GOP Rep. Darrell Issa announced Wednesday that he won’t seeking reelection in California’s 49th district, most of Washington took that to mean the former Oversight Committee chairman was leaving Capitol Hill for good. Well, think again.
In his statement on Wednesday, Issa said:
“With the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District. 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.”
But the unpopular lawmaker is now discussing with colleagues the possibility of running in a neighboring San Diego district if embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) resigns, The Hill reported Thursday.
Hunter, who has been dogged by federal and congressional ethics investigations, said he would not put it past Issa to seek his seat if something bad were to happen to him. Still, Hunter said he had no plans to resign this cycle.
“If I was to blow up in the air, then he would be running for it,” Hunter said, according to The Hill. “If I was to blow up, then he would run for the seat,” he told the publication.
Last year, FBI agents searched the offices of Hunter’s campaign treasurer and seized evidence in an investigation into whether his campaign misused campaign funds. Hunter’s campaign spent more than $1,300 in video game purchases, something he blamed on his son, as well as other funds for airfare for the family rabbit and his children’s private school tuition.
Issa was facing increasingly difficult odds in hanging onto his current seat. He beat Democrat Doug Applegate by only 1,621 votes in 2016, and some Republicans have been warning of a possible Democratic wave coming in 2018. He did not respond to requests for comment on this story.