Rep. Darrell Issa of California announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election this year, increasing Democrats' chances of flipping his swing district in November.
While Issa's ninth term will be his last, the Associated Press notes he left his mark by dogging then-President Barack Obama with probes into the 2012 killings of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and Internal Revenue Service audits of conservative groups.
Mr. Issa, former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has served in Congress since 2001.
Issa's district in southern California was a primary target for Democrats in the coming election cycle.
Issa adds to the growing field of Republicans retiring at one of the fastest paces in decades. It's among seven Republican-held districts in California that Hillary Clinton won that year, carrying Issa's by 8 percentage points.
"The reality is that America is better for the a year ago of this administration and this Congress", Issa said.
Issa, who represents north coastal San Diego and south Orange counties, is the latest California Republican to announce his retirement ahead of what is likely to be a Democratic wave in the 2018 congressional elections. "Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California's 49th District".
His bill which has already passed the House Judiciary Committee is now gaining momentum in the House and might come up for vote soon. For a year, hundreds of activists have appeared weekly outside of Issa's office to protest. California does not hold partisan primaries, but rather has a "jungle" primary that sends two candidates of any party to the November general election.
Republicans, meanwhile, say they will benefit from the fight between the Democrats seeking to claim the seat.
Representative Steve Stivers of OH, the chairman of the Republican campaign arm, predicted that a contentious Democratic primary would leave the eventual nominee "black and blue, and broke".
The National Republican Congressional Committee expressed optimism that the seat will remain red.