Jan. 10 (UPI) -- 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.
"Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve," Issa said in a statement. "Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California's 49th District."
The absence of the 17-year incumbent will make it easier for Democrats to flip 24 seats to win back the House majority.
Issa was ranked as one of the wealthiest members of Congress and called his time in Congress "the privilege of a lifetime."
His decision to not seek re-election comes two days after fellow California Republican Rep. Ed Royce announced he also would retire after 2018 following 25 years in the House -- leaving his Orange County district open to possible party turnover.
Royce's district backed Clinton by 8 percentage points.
So far, nearly 30 Republicans and 14 Democrats have announced they are leaving their House seats after this year -- and special elections to fill four open seats will be held in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona will be held before the Nov. 6 vote.
Serving #CA49 has been the privilege of a lifetime. From the bottom of my heart - thank you - to everyone for your support and the honor of serving you all these years. My full statement on my decision not to seek reelection: https://t.co/zjlkeiqnzs- Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 10, 2018