Schwarzenegger backs candidate for Issa seat

Schwarzenegger backs candidate for Issa seat
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Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday threw his support behind Republican Rocky Chávez to replace outgoing Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDemocratic gains erasing House GOP in California California New Members 2019 Dem Mike Levin wins Issa's open House seat in southern California MORE (R-Calif.) in the state’s 49th congressional district.

“He’s a tireless voice for kids & equal education. Rocky puts people over party, I’m proud to endorse him in #CA49,” Schwarzenegger tweeted.

As governor, Schwarzenegger appointed Chávez to run the state's Department of Veterans Affairs. Chávez currently serves as a state assemblyman.

Chávez, 66, is one of two Republicans to enter the race, along with Diane Harkey, 66, a former state assembly member, according to local media.

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At least four Democrats are running for the seat. They include retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, 63, who challenged Issa in 2016; Sara Jacobs, 28, a former State Department and United Nations aide who has been endorsed by EMILY’s List; Navy veteran Paul Kerr, 62; and environmental attorney Mike Levin, 38.

Under California’s primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party.

Issa announced Wednesday that he won’t seek reelection from his district this year, though he did not say that he’s retiring from Congress entirely. Issa won reelection in 2016 by just over half a percentage point in a district that went for Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWatergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' Senate Homeland Security chairman requests briefing on Ivanka Trump emails House GOP to hold hearing into DOJ’s probe of Clinton Foundation MORE by about 7 points in the presidential election.

Sources told The Hill that Issa has been discussing a possible campaign in a neighboring San Diego district if Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterProposed House GOP rules would force indicted lawmakers to step down from leader roles: report Overnight Defense: What the midterms mean for defense panels | Pompeo cancels North Korea meeting | Trump eyes Kim summit in early 2019 | Pentagon drops name for border mission GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter wins reelection despite criminal charges MORE (R-Calif.) resigns. Hunter has faced multiple ethics investigations.