Dem Mike Levin wins Issa's open House seat in southern California

Dem Mike Levin wins Issa's open House seat in southern California

Democrat Mike Levin has defeated Republican Diane Harkey to win the House seat being vacated by retiring 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.).

The win in California's 49th District gives Democrats a seat that had become a high priority since Issa eked out a win in 2016.

Issa, who won reelection in 2016 by only 1,621 votes, announced in January that he was retiring from the district, which covers affluent portions of Orange and San Diego counties.

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The district, which went to Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rips Krugman, NYT after columnist writes GOP no longer believes in American values Klobuchar jokes to Cuomo: 'I feel you creeping over my shoulder' but 'not in a Trumpian manner' Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment MORE in the 2016 presidential election, was rated “lean Democratic” by election prognosticators, and Levin was ahead in the polls going into Election Day even as registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats.

Levin, 40, is a former executive director of the Orange County Democratic Party and former director of government affairs for a clean energy company. This was his first campaign for political office.

Levin made environmental policies and climate change a central part of his campaign. He also supports "Medicare for all," a $15 minimum wage and a ban on assault rifles.