Schwarzenegger backs candidate for Issa seat

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday threw his support behind Republican Rocky Chávez to replace outgoing Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaGOP sues California over Newsom’s vote-by-mail order Conservative group files challenge to California vote-by-mail order New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE (R-Calif.) in the state’s 49th congressional district.

“He’s a tireless voice for kids & equal education. Rocky puts people over party, I’m proud to endorse him in #CA49,” Schwarzenegger tweeted.

As governor, Schwarzenegger appointed Chávez to run the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs. Chávez currently serves as a state assemblyman.

Chávez, 66, is one of two Republicans to enter the race, along with Diane Harkey, 66, a former state assembly member, according to local media.

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At least four Democrats are running for the seat. They include retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, 63, who challenged Issa in 2016; Sara Jacobs, 28, a former State Department and United Nations aide who has been endorsed by EMILY’s List; Navy veteran Paul Kerr, 62; and environmental attorney Mike Levin, 38.

Under California’s primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party.

Issa announced Wednesday that he won’t seek reelection from his district this year, though he did not say that he’s retiring from Congress entirely. Issa won reelection in 2016 by just over half a percentage point in a district that went for Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE by about 7 points in the presidential election.

Sources told The Hill that Issa has been discussing a possible campaign in a neighboring San Diego district if Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterLobbying world Duncan Hunter granted delayed start to prison sentence over coronavirus New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE (R-Calif.) resigns. Hunter has faced multiple ethics investigations.

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