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North County congressman Issa to retire

North County congressman Issa to retire

Rep. Darrell Issa of California announced his retirement on Wednesday, according to CNN.

Issa's decision makes him the 30th Republican House member to not seek re-election this year, a number that has steadily grown in the last several months. He later targeted Clinton as she moved toward seeking the presidency over her response to the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

First elected in 2000, Issa's retirement ends the career of a figure who rose to prominence during former President Barack Obama's tenure, after he took the helm of the House oversight committee following the GOP wave of 2010.

Still, there is agreement that Issa faced a tough reelection fight in the fall.

Issa became the second California Republican to retire this week.

The congressional district Issa has represented since 2001 - California's 49th - is one of 23 won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that are currently held by Republicans, who are now considered vulnerable in this November's congressional elections.

In 2012, Issa launched one of the first congressional inquiries into the Benghazi attacks, which resulted in the deaths of two diplomats and two Central Intelligence Agency contractors during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers thanked Issa for his service, but noted they are confident of the coming race against a crowded Democratic field.

Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve.

"I feel like I'm going out on top at a time when a generic Republican's going to win my district and I'm going to support the nominee on my side and then I'm going to continue to be very active", he said. For a year, hundreds of activists have appeared weekly outside of Issa's office to protest.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee immediately released a statement crediting grassroots activism in the district. We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats' battle royale: "black and blue, and broke", Stivers said in a statement.