Former Rep. Darrell Issa launched an exploratory committee in a possible congressional bid that could see him challenging embattled GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter just one year after he retired from the House.
The California Republican announced the news on his campaign website.
"I have formally launched an exploratory committee for the 50th Congressional District in California," Issa said on the site.
Former Rep. Darrell Issa, seen here on Capitol Hill last December, has taken a step toward challenging Rep. Duncan Hunter for a Southern California seat. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
"I have received such a tremendous outpouring of encouragement from supporters inside the district, and around the state and across the nation. I’m truly grateful for the many encouraging phone calls, messages and letters that I have received."
Hunter, who faces multiple campaign finance violation charges, is scheduled to go on trial in January.
Issa, the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, retired from Congress before the 2018 midterm election after serving nine terms in the 49th District. He barely survived a hotly contested 2016 election.
His seat went to Democrat Mike Levin, one of several seats Democrats were able to flip. Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar is expected to run for the 50th District seat after coming within a few points of unseating Hunter last year.
In this July 1 photo, Rep. Duncan Hunter leaves federal court after a hearing in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy,File)
Hunter has the incumbency advantage, but Issa brings strong name recognition. President Trump nominated him to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
His wife, Margaret Hunter, pleaded guilty to conspiring with her husband to use campaign funds for personal expenses.