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 IssaFive times presidents sparked controversy using executive privilege GOP plots comeback in Orange County The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress 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 ClintonWarren policy ideas show signs of paying off Biden at campaign kickoff event: I don't have to be 'angry' to win Top Dem: Trump helps GOP erase enthusiasm gap; Ohio a big problem 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 HunterHouse ethics panel renews probes into three GOP lawmakers GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter accused of violating 'parole' after pretending to cross US-Mexico border Challenger outraises embattled California rep ahead of 2020 rematch MORE (R-Calif.) resigns. Hunter has faced multiple ethics investigations.