Voting in California’s 49th District is still underway, but Rep. Darrell Issa is already calling it.
Issa said in an interview on Fox News Tuesday that a Democrat, environmental lawyer Mike Levin, will replace him in the next Congress.
“Quite frankly, we know the results already,” Issa said. “There will be a Democrat representing La Jolla and Solana Beach for the first time in a number of years.”
Issa endorsed fellow Republican Diane Harkey in January, soon after announcing his retirement. He would have been among the most vulnerable House incumbents this cycle, having secured re-election in 2016 by fewer than 2,000 votes.
Issa previously chaired the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He suggested in his interview that Harkey never stood a chance.
“To a certain extent you have to write off some parts of California,” Issa said. “My district was never in play this cycle, and so it was never funded.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee did not invest in the race, according to ProPublica’s FEC Itemizer, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $1.6 million. The campaign arm of the League of Conservation Voters also hit Harkey with a $778,000 ad buy that knocked the former member of the California State Assembly for her record on offshore drilling.
Pundits say several toss-up races in California could be decisive in determining which party controls the chamber.