Former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has won a race for a district that was open because its holder resigned, according to new projections.
Issa, 67, who served nine terms in the House of Representatives, is projected to triumph over Democratic nominee Ammar Campa-Najjar, 31. Issa currently holds a lead of about 23,000, with most votes counted.
Issa on Nov. 5 declared victory, thanking the people who voted for him.
"Whether you supported me in this election or not, I will work tirelessly in Congress for all who call the 50th District their home, for The State of California which I love so much, and for our great country," he wrote on Twitter, crediting Campa-Najjar with running "a spirited campaign."
Campa-Najjar, who worked for the Department of Labor during the Obama administration, said he spoke with Issa and congratulated him.
The Democrat noted that he received more votes than in 2018, when he lost to then-Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) after Issa decided not to run for reelection.
"I'll be addressing CA50 voters and supporters in the coming days. Together, we outperformed the top of the ticket in this Republican district by inspiring first-time voters and crossover voters," Campa-Najjar said in a statement. "I'm incredibly proud of how this campaign left no one out, took no one for granted, and brought this community together."
Hunter resigned in January after pleading guilty to a corruption charge.
According to current projections, Republicans have won 198 seats in the House. Democrats are on track to win 216, so far, just short of the 218 needed for a majority.
Twenty-one races have not been called yet.
Issa, once the wealthiest member of Congress with a net worth of at least $250 million, made his name chairing the House Oversight Committee, including during oversight hearings about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) congratulated Issa in a statement: "I’m honored to welcome Darrell Issa back to Congress. Darrell’s proven leadership and steadfast conservative principles won him this race. I look forward to working with him again in Congress.”