Democrats may be celebrating the mainstream media’s call that former Vice President Joe Biden is now president-elect, but Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have even more to celebrate: the GOP stunned opponents with a number of upsets in the lower chamber.
One of those stunning victories was a huge win by Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who, according to the Washington Examiner, defeated 31-year-old Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in a tight race to claim California’s 50th congressional district.
At 67, Issa has previously served nine terms in Congress and was once the ranking Republican on the powerful House Oversight Committee, the Examiner reported.
How did it happen?
Issa served in the House from 2001–2019, but in 2018 announced that he was leaving Congress in an effort to pursue the position of director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency under the Trump administration.
His plans were quickly derailed, however, after Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) delayed Issa’s confirmation to the coveted position, which resulted in Issa eventually declaring that he would once again run for the House in what was expected to be a highly-competitive race.
Using his vast fortune, which he built in the car alarm business, according to the Examiner, Issa loaned or gave his campaign over $7 million to aid his fight against Campa-Najjar — a gamble that paid off on Saturday, when the Associated Press called the race in Issa’s favor. The California lawmaker is regarded as one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Issa was confident enough in the numbers on Friday that he called the race for himself and thanked his opponent for what he called a “spirited” election battle.
“Whether you supported me in this election or not, I will work tirelessly in Congress for all who call the 50th District their home, for The State of California which I love so much, and for our great country,” Issa wrote Friday night on social media, according to the Examiner.
A true fighter
Issa is still regarded as one of the fiercest opponents of former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other high-profile Democrats, as he was responsible for or took part in nearly every big investigation that plagued the aforementioned politicians.
Some of those investigations included the one launched during Obama’s time in office when it was discovered that the IRS was targeting conservative groups unfairly, as the Examiner reported. Another Issa-led investigation turned into what America would come to know as the infamous “Fast and Furious” scandal.
The experienced lawmaker also took Clinton to task over the highly controversial events surrounding the U.S. Embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya. According to Think Progress, Issa proudly took credit for his role in the investigation, claiming it helped hurt Clinton’s presidential prospects.
It’s safe to say that Republicans are celebrating Issa’s win not only because they managed to keep a rare, red seat in California, but also because Issa is a proven fighter who will not hesitate to call balls and strikes, which could be especially important in a Biden presidency.