"Darrell Issa had managed to win in the 2016 general election with just half a percentage point".
The first reaction to the news that these two GOP stalwarts won't be seeking re-election in traditionally safe Republican districts (but districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016) was that these seats could swing toward the Democratic column (The Cook Political Report quickly switched its prognosis for the Royce seat from "Leans Republican" to "Leans Democratic.").
According to NPR, there are now 31 Republican lawmakers who will not seek re-election in November.
"Eighteen years is a long time, and I'm looking forward to another chapter in my life", he said.
With the election of President Donald Trump, the political landscape changed dramatically over the past year.
Issa, 64, began serving in Congress in 2001.
Issa built a national profile as the chief congressional antagonist to former President Barack Obama and his administration during his tenure as ranking Republican and then chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, between 2008 and 2015. He presided over contentious hearings into the attack on the USA embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.
Darrell Issa said Wednesday he won't seek re-election this year - the 18th GOP House member to retire in a wave that boosts the odds that Democrats can flip the chamber.
Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, also represents an Orange County district that went for Clinton over Trump. His district includes portions of San Diego County, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, and Encinitas.
"While Ed can look back on many years of devoted service to his constituents and our great state of California as well as all of his accomplishments as a legislator and Chairman, he deserves particular praise for his years promoting human rights, especially in the fight to end human trafficking and protect the most vulnerable people around the world".
Those activists have protested weekly outside Issa's Vista, California, district office - leading to a odd scene in May in which Issa stood on his rooftop, looking down at the protesters below.
"The next challenge is maintaining the Democratic unity in the face of the upcoming onslaught of Republican votes on issues ranging from welfare reform, balanced budget, entitlement reform and other GOP priorities", Elshami continues.
"The demographics of Orange County are changing in a way that makes Democrats smile", said Claremont McKenna political science professor Jack Pitney. The district has been a Republican stronghold since Issa won his first election.
The Democrats in the race are environmental attorney Mike Levin, businessman Paul Kerr, former State Department contract employee Sara Jacobs and Applegate, an attorney and retired Marine colonel.