Trump's politics of vengeance hits blue-state Republicans hardest

Royce rolls Congressman fervent decrier of Russia won’t seek re-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.

"With this in mind, and with the support of my wife Marie, I have decided not to seek reelection in November", Royce said.

Staff at Issa's D.C. office told Voice of OC Wednesday morning they don't know if he's going to run for another office or not. Washington's Dave Reichert and New Jersey's Frank LoBiondo both routinely won landslide reelection bids, even as their districts voted Democratic at the presidential level.

Issa's announcement comes just a day after another high-profile Orange County Republican congressman, Ed Royce, announced that he too was retiring in 2018. He announced that he plans to run for the Senate in 2018.

Issa's retirement is a major blow to House Republicans in a district that analysts had considered a toss-up.

"In fact, Democrats, who need a net gain of 24 seats to take control of the House, have nearly the same number of vulnerable incumbents retiring", they add.


"Americans of Armenian heritage honor the service and leadership of the longstanding Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and author of the Royce-Engel Artsakh Peace Proposals, who, today, announced he will be retiring from Congress at the end of this year", said the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) on a Facebook post Monday.

A former businessman, Issa was first elected to Congress in 2001. Godinich said the Republicans' vote on the tax bill and the party's priorities "are toxic to their re-election chances in 2018". And there are 23 districts represented by Republicans that were won by Hillary Clinton last November, all of which could be in play.

"Representing you has been the privilege of a lifetime", Issa said in his press release. While Senate District 17 has one Democrat - Phyllis Hatcher - and three Republicans - Brian Strickland, Ed Toney and Nelva Lee - running for office. "We have seven open Republican seats rated as either 'toss up" or 'leaning Democratic.' Most, if not all, of those seats would be in a better category for Republicans if the incumbent was running". He (along with several of the other retiring chairmen) is term-limited as chair, and said in a statement he wants to spend his past year in the role focusing on "the brutal, corrupt and unsafe regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran, Vladimir Putin's continued efforts to weaponize information to fracture western democracies, and growing terrorist threats in Africa and Central Asia".

In his own 2016 race, Issa narrowly defeated a Democratic challenger - winning by only about 1,600 votes.

San Clemente is part of Issa's district that, since 2012, stretches from San Juan Capistrano down the coast to Solana Beach. Numerous open seats are in districts considered solidly Republican, vacated by lawmakers who might have easily secured re-election.

The media and voters alike need to be reminded that while the President does indeed hold the steering wheel on USS America, his rudder is very small and the ship is bloated from bow to stern. The dark blue columns, though, are also interesting: Those are races in which the district backed the presidential candidate of the retiree - but then flipped parties in the House race. He's followed by Democratic candidate Mike Levin who had $530,000 on hand out of the $918,000 he brought in.

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