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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 IssaMidterms in 2018 become most expensive in history Dems target small cluster of states in battle for House Painting of Trump with past GOP presidents hung up in White House 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 ClintonMueller's team asking Manafort about Roger Stone: report O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate GOP pollster says polls didn't pick up on movement in week before 2016 election 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 HunterDem candidate announces Ben & Jerry's flavor: Ammar-etto American Dream California Dem hits Trump Jr. over claims of links to extremist groups Poll: Dems lead in 5 critical California House seats MORE (R-Calif.) resigns. Hunter has faced multiple ethics investigations.