Darrell Issa of California announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election after serving out his ninth term in Congress.
Issa won re-election narrowly in 2016 and faces a number of well-known Democratic challengers in 2018.
Issa dogged then-President Barack Obama with probes into the 2012 killings of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and IRS mistreatment of conservative groups.
Early this week, Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee had also announced his retirement.
Royce and Issa's districts are both in expensive television markets - further stretching national Republicans who are on defense across dozens of districts in the 2018 midterm elections.
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Issa became the second California Republican to retire this week. The district - a part of Southern California that swung in favor of Hillary Clinton in 2016 - has since been listed as a top target by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"The reality is that America is better for the previous year of this administration and this Congress", Issa said.
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa will retire from Congress in 2018, avoiding a hard campaign fight in a district that has been a primary focus for Democrats in the coming election. Hillary Clinton won the district by almost 7 points in the 2016 election. For a year, hundreds of activists have appeared weekly outside of Issa's office to protest. "Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek reelection in California's 49th District", he said in a statement. California does not hold partisan primaries, but rather has a "jungle" primary that sends two candidates of any party to the November general election. "We are truly grateful for his service", said Rep. Steve Stivers, chairman of the NRCC.
"While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats - and that's how we plan to win", Stivers said.
"California Republicans clearly see the writing on the wall and realize that their party and its priorities are toxic to their re-election chances in 2018", Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Drew Godinich said.