House Republicans open California office to defend majority

Greg Nash

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has opened an office in California as House Republicans seek to protect incumbents in the Golden State.

The 10,000-square-foot office is located in Irvine, Calif., a city in Orange County — the site of a number of competitive races. The lease runs until 2020, which indicates that the NRCC hopes to be involved in state races during both the 2018 midterm elections and the next election cycle, in 2020.

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), chairman of the NRCC, visited the California office on Tuesday for the opening, where he was joined by 50 volunteers. Nat Serslev, the former district director for Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), will run the West Coast office.

{mosads}“This move allows us to harness and grow what’s already a strong base of support in Southern California,” Stivers said in a statement.

“Our long term physical presence in the area signifies how important our California members are to our conference. We believe this will help supplement their strong campaigns in 2018 and beyond.”

Republicans are defending seven California districts that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, suggesting that the Republicans who represents those districts are vulnerable.

Of those Clinton districts, the members based in Orange County include Walters and GOP Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce, who is retiring after this Congress. Still, those incumbents all easily won reelection in 2016.

Other targeted races where Clinton also won include seats held by GOP Reps. David Valadao, Steve Knight, Jeff Denham and Darrell Issa, who is also retiring.

Democrats need to flip about two dozen seats to take back the House, and they’ve been specifically targeting those seven California seats. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opened a West Coast office last year, which is also based in Irvine.

“This purely defensive move is an indication that national Republicans are slowly realizing that their incumbents in California are in deep trouble—which Democrats have known, and invested in, for over a year,” Drew Godinich, the DCCC’s West Coast spokesman, said.

“Strong Democratic challengers combined with grassroots energy in Southern California pose a real threat to Republicans’ control of Washington in 2018 and the GOP is scrambling.”

The NRCC isn’t the only Republican group that will have presence in California this cycle.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House GOP leadership, has opened field offices across the country, with five of those based in California. They include offices in districts represented by Walters, Royce, Valadao, Knight and Denham.

Updated at 4:00 p.m.

Tags Dana Rohrabacher Darrell Issa David Valadao Ed Royce Hillary Clinton Jeff Denham Steve Stivers

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video