SAN DIEGO (AP) — A retired Marine who narrowly lost to Republican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa said Tuesday that he plans to run for Congress again in 2018.
Doug Applegate sought elected office for the first time and surprised nearly everyone by giving Issa the toughest challenge he has faced during his eight terms in Congress. Unofficial results gave Issa a 2-percentage-point lead over his Democratic challenger with only a small number of votes to be counted in the coastal district north of San Diego.
Applegate, a 62-year-old lawyer who was virtually unknown before this year's race, enters the 2018 contest with much stronger name recognition.
"As a Marine Colonel, I know that the hardest fights often take a couple of battles — and I look forward to continuing our fight in the days, weeks, and months ahead. That's why I'm announcing my intention to run for Congress in 2018. This community deserves leadership that puts people ahead of partisan politics," Applegate said in a statement.
Issa, a former car-alarm magnate, is the wealthiest member of Congress. He also became one of the most recognized members for his role as one of President Barack Obama's chief antagonists when he led the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
A decade ago, Republicans held a 20-point registration advantage over Democrats in the district, which includes wealthy seaside enclaves but also dense, diverse suburban communities. That double-digit margin has dwindled to single digits, while the number of independents soared.