House races

Issa declared winner after reelection battle

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was announced the winner of his reelection race by a razor-thin margin after nearly three weeks of the results being too close to call. 
Issa fended off Marine Col. Doug Applegate (D), a political newcomer, in the toughest race of his career, the Associated Press said Monday. It was the final uncalled House race of 2016.

As of Monday afternoon, Issa led Applegate by 2,348 votes, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Issa had maintained a steady but narrow lead over Applegate since Nov. 8, but California had mail and provisional ballots that still needed to be counted. 

San Diego County officials said fewer than 1,000 votes remain to be counted in the San Diego area district, but Issa’s lead has secured his seat.

{mosads}Issa is best known for pursuing high-profile investigations into the Obama administration and other top Democrats after becoming House Oversight Committee chairman in 2010. 
The 16-year House veteran survived a harsh challenge brought about in part because of his ties to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Issa initially endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) in the GOP presidential primaries, but quickly embraced Trump after he became the party’s presumptive nominee in May. 
Trump in turn gave Issa a spot on his national security council and even went so far as to publicly endorse him in early November, tweeting that he was a “very good man” who deserved to hold his seat.
Applegate, a retired Marine colonel who served in Iraq, hammered Issa on his ties to Trump during the surprisingly close race.
The Democrat had never run for office before, but he received backing from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and outside groups, all eager to knock off Issa.
President Obama also criticized Issa on the campaign trail, calling it the “definition of chutzpah” that Issa sent out a mailer praising Obama for signing a sexual assault bill he co-sponsored.
As Oversight chairman, Issa for years dug into a host of issues, including the failed gun-running “Fast and Furious” operation, the 2012 attacks on U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, and the scrutiny of conservative groups by the IRS. He went so far as to declare Obama one of the “most corrupt” presidents in American history.
But Issa also was subject to criticism from both parties, as some argued his investigations offered more in terms of publicity than substance. And bipartisan relations at the committee during Issa’s tenure were particularly acrimonious, even for a panel that can often break across strict partisan lines. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) vowed a fresh start when he took over the Oversight panel in 2015.
Issa, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, rarely faced a significant challenge to protect his House seat before 2016, cruising to eight terms in office.
Lisa Hagen contributed 
Tags Donald Trump Jason Chaffetz Marco Rubio

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