Issa says he will run for Congress if not confirmed to trade post by Nov. 3

Issa says he will run for Congress if not confirmed to trade post by Nov. 3

Former Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDuncan Hunter to plead guilty to campaign finance violations Why the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy Elijah Cummings, native son of Baltimore, gets emotional send-off from Democratic luminaries MORE (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he will run for Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterDemocrats running to replace Duncan Hunter, Chris Collins vow to support ethics package California governor won't call special election for Duncan Hunter's seat Rep. Duncan Hunter plans to resign next week MORE’s (R-Calif.) seat if he is not confirmed to a top trade post in the Trump administration by Nov. 3. 

Issa was nominated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE nearly a year ago to be director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, though his nomination has yet to be considered in the Senate.

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“Quite frankly, if I’m not confirmed by Nov. 3, then I expect I’ll be a candidate for the congressional seat,” Issa, who represented San Diego County for 18 years in the House before retiring earlier this year, told Roll Call Tuesday.

Issa created an exploratory committee last month to run for California’s 50th Congressional District to challenge Hunter, who is fighting federal corruption charges.

Hunter and his wife were indicted in August 2018 for allegedly misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds and falsifying records. His wife, Margaret, pleaded guilty to one count of misusing funds, but the congressman is fighting the charges and is refusing to resign. 

“There’s nothing wrong with his voting,” Issa said. “But he is injured in a way that, according to most polls I’ve seen — all polls I’ve seen — he cannot win reelection. And as a Republican, I don’t want to lose a seat that is clearly a seat that we need to have to get back in the majority,” he said.

While five other Republicans have also announced primary challenges to Hunter, Issa, who founded the Viper car alarm system and had been the wealthiest member of Congress, would pose a significant challenge to the incumbent with his ability personally beef up his campaign war chest. 

Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who narrowly lost to Hunter in 2018, is running in the district again in 2020 and is likely to pose a substantial challenge to whichever Republican obtains the GOP’s congressional nomination.