SAN DIEGO — Republican Darrell Issa has won reelection in the 48th Congressional District, the Associated Press projected Tuesday night.

As of Wednesday morning, Issa had garnered 60% of the vote compared to his Democrat opponent Stephen Houlahan’s nearly 40%. 

The 48th Congressional District map now covers a large portion of East County in San Diego, extending from the U.S.-Mexico border into Temecula. Local communities include Poway, Santee, Lakeside, Alpine, Ramona and part of Escondido. 

The Cook Political Report and other non-partisan analysts rated the new 48th a “solid Republican” district, indicating it could be an uphill climb for a Democratic challenger. 

Issa is a familiar face in both the San Diego region and in Washington, where he serves on the powerful House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. He is a retired U.S. Army captain and former CEO who has served as a lawmaker in various districts since 2000. 

Issa has long made border security and immigration central issues in his campaigns, saying “we can’t keep our country safe if we don’t secure the border.” The congressman promotes greater funding and resources for Border Patrol, harsher penalties for smugglers and rejecting the concept of “sanctuary cities.” 

A conservative who aligned himself closely with former President Donald Trump when he was in office, Issa has been a fierce critic of President Joe Biden’s administration.