CA-50: Darrell Issa (R)
Prior to his election to Congress, Issa was a technology industry leader and CEO. He founded Vista, Calif., based Directed Electronics Inc., the manufacturer of automobile security and convenience products. Issa has served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, the Board of Governors of the Electronics Industry Association, and as director of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Greater San Diego County Chamber of Commerce. In 1994, Issa received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young, and The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Well known as a grassroots leader to Republicans throughout California, Issa is perhaps best known as the architect of the successful effort to recall former Gov. Gray Davis. He served as co-chair of the campaign to pass the California Civil Rights Initiative (Prop. 209) and was chairman of the California Republican Party’s statewide Victory ’96 effort. He acted as chairman of the Volunteer Committee for the 1996 Republican National Convention where he recruited and organized the activities of more than 10,000 volunteers. In 1998 he made a strong bid for United States Senate, narrowly losing a close race to then-State Treasurer Matt Fong. After the election, Issa endorsed Fong and actively raised money for his campaign. He later became chairman of the San Diego County Lincoln Club, an influential Republican organization.
The grandson of immigrants, and a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Issa was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He enlisted in the Army during his senior year in high school and attended college on an ROTC scholarship. In the Army, Issa served as a bomb disposal technician, tank platoon commander, and a computer R&D specialist. He attained the rank of Captain.
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