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 IssaHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation Dozens of Sacramento students remain in Afghanistan after US pullout, district says Seven San Diego-area families evacuated from Afghanistan after summer trip abroad MORE (R-Calif.) will challenge Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterTrump denies Gaetz asked him for blanket pardon Gaetz, on the ropes, finds few friends in GOP Trust, transparency, and tithing is not enough to sustain democracy 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) MenendezBiden, don't punish India Democrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian  Biden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict 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.