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 IssaDCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program Wife of former Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 8 months of home confinement Harris endorses Democrat in tight California House race MORE (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he will run for Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterDCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program Wife of former Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 8 months of home confinement Harris endorses Democrat in tight California House race 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 TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses 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.