(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.”

Issa, who joined the House in 2001, won re-election in 2016 by a half percentage point in a district that favored Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to President Donald Trump.

The absence of the 17-year incumbent will make it easier for Democrats to flip 24 seats to win back the House majority.

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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.

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