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 IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles Senate throws hundreds of Trump nominees into limbo 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 ClintonDershowitz to The Atlantic: Do not violate Constitution to safeguard it Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated GOP Rep. Tom Marino resigns from Congress 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 HunterWhat a year it’s been: A month-by-month look back at 2018's biggest stories Bipartisan lawmakers unveil bill to tighten some campaign rules California dreamin’ in the 2020 presidential race MORE (R-Calif.) resigns. Hunter has faced multiple ethics investigations.