This year, Democrats need to win 25 seats to take back the House. Darrell Isa’s retirement makes the prospect easier now that the number of open seats goes up to 31. His retirement has been long expected given outcome of the 2016 election, where he barely eked out a 1600-vote lead. That year, the district voted heavily for Hillary Clinton despite swinging for Romney just four years prior. Since Trump’s victory, the left has been itching to clear California of any Republican representation at the national level. Isa knew he would be in for an even tougher fight this time around, given Trump’s low popularity numbers.
The retirement marks a quiet end to the once-prominent California congressman. During the Obama years, Isa saw himself as the one man who could hold president Obama accountable. His committee issued a flurry of subpoenas demanding information on anything he suspected as corruption. His office was a fine example for dead end investigations like Benghazi—where you can have hundreds of testimony and hearing hours, and still don’t have any indictments, or referrals to the Justice Department. His name is forever enshrined in the great Hall of Congressional Hubris.