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 IssaWhy 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 Lawmakers come together to honor Cummings: 'One of the greats in our country's history' MORE (R-Calif.) will challenge Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterIndicted lawmaker Duncan Hunter fails to land endorsement from local GOP Duncan Hunter challenger raises over 0,000 in third quarter Trump says White House reviewing case of Green Beret charged with Afghan murder 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) MenendezTrump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Isolationism creeps back over America, as the president looks out for himself 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.