Darrell Issa to challenge Duncan Hunter for House seat in 2020

Darrell Issa to challenge Duncan Hunter for House seat in 2020

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.) will challenge 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 (R-Calif.) for his House seat in 2020, according to two sources familiar with his plans.

Issa is expected to announce his campaign at a press conference in El Cajon, just east of San Diego, on Thursday. 

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Issa previously represented California 49th District in the House, but announced last year that he would not seek reelection. Democratic Rep. Mike Levin won the election to replace Issa in November. 

Issa has suggested in recent weeks, however, that he could run for Congress once again if his nomination to a top trade post in the Trump administration was not approved soon. 

Issa’s confirmation largely stalled in the Senate last week after Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Dem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, raised concerns about his FBI background file.

Hunter currently represents the nearby 50th District.

His political career has been thrown into turmoil by a federal indictment on charges including campaign finance violations and wire fraud. His wife pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this year, though Hunter has maintained his innocence. His trial is scheduled for January.

Still, the charges have made Hunter politically vulnerable, even in his deeply conservative Southern California district. In last year’s midterm elections, he eked out a narrow 3-point win over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar. 

Campa-Najjar is once again running for Hunter’s seat.

Olivia Beavers contributed to this report.