Issa Announces Who He Wants to Replace Him

Diane Harkey was one of the first of a slew of Republicans to get into the race

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., endorsed Diane Harkey, a member of the California Board of Equalization, to replace him as he retires from Congres. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa endorsed California Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey to succeed him in California’s 49th District.

Issa endorsed Harkey in an interview Fox5 San Diego

“She understands the finance and what it takes to fund companies in California,” Issa said.

Issa also said Harkey supports efforts to make government more transparent and knows her constituents from her time in the state Assembly and as mayor of Dana Point, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

“I don't go with the flow, I represent my constituents,” Harkey said in the Fox5 interview with Issa.

Issa announced he would not seek re-election earlier this month, setting off a slew of Republicans jumping in the race to replace him.

Harkey was one of the first Republicans to jump into the race along with state Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, patent lawyer Joshua Schoonover, San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Brian Marryot. 

Earlier this week, San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar announced her candidacy in the race.

Before announcing her run, Gaspar met with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and was courting Issa for an endorsement before he endorsed Harkey, according to Fox5 San Diego.

Issa praised Gaspar but said she lacks the experience Harkey has.

“She just barely started as supervisor and I think she’s got time,” Issa said. “Four or six, eight years from now the seat will be available and I think that she should look at it then.”

But Jason Roe, Gaspar’s campaign manager dismissed Issa’s comments.

"I would say the graveyard is littered with men who told Kristin Gaspar to wait her turn," he said.

After Issa narrowly won re-election against retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, Democrats are targeting the district again this year.

Environmental Lawyer Mike Levin, Navy veteran Paul Kerr, former State Department employee Sara Jacobs and Applegate are all running as Democrats.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race in California’s 49th District  Tossup.

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