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2018 electionCalifornia in Congress

Issa considering running in district next door, report says

 (Molly Riley / Associated Press)
(Molly Riley / Associated Press)

Don’t put GOP Rep. Darrell Issa on the retirement list just yet.

Issa has been discussing possibly running for another House seat in a neighboring district, The Hill newspaper reported Thursday.

The rumblings in California political circles about a district switcharoo have been rampant since the Vista Republican issued a statement Wednesday that he would “not seek reelection in California's 49th District.”

The pointed wording prompted multiple sources to question if it meant Issa would consider running in the nearby 50th District, where his mother has a home in Bonsall.

“Good lord you guys are persistent! Can’t even take a day off from speculating what might be next for Darrell?” Issa’s spokesman Calvin Moore said by text. He did not respond to follow-up text messages.

Issa's longtime political consultant, Dave Gilliard, disputed The Hill’s story saying, "I don’t believe he’s making those calls, no... I don't think he's given any thought to any other district at this point."

Of course, the 50th District already has a member of Congress: Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine). But with Hunter facing potential legal trouble, it’s not impossible to think he would opt against seeking reelection this fall. 

Hunter has been dogged by federal and congressional ethics investigations, including news Wednesday that a grand jury has met with witnesses involved in the investigation. 

Hunter told The Hill on Thursday that he has no plans to retire and had not heard about the Issa rumor.

“If I was to blow up in the air, then he would be running for it," Hunter told The Hill. "If I was to blow up, then he would run for the seat. … If I blow up, yes. Why wouldn’t he run for my seat if I was to blow up in the air?”

In 2016, Issa narrowly won reelection in his northern San Diego County and southern Orange County district, where voter demographics have slowly changed since he was elected in 2000. He faced an onslaught of well-funded opponents and was considered the most vulnerable incumbent in the country. Hunter’s district is more solidly Republican.

Times staff writer Christine Mai-Duc contributed to this report.

UPDATES

11:47 a.m.: This post has been updated with a quote from Issa’s political consultant.

It was originally posted at 10:23 a.m.

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