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Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters

Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters
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Democrat Katie Porter unseated incumbent Rep. Mimi WaltersMarian (Mimi) Elaine WaltersFormer GOP Rep. Walters joins energy company GOP plots comeback in Orange County Crazy California an outlier? No, we are the canary in the coal mine MORE (R-Calif.), marking the first time Democrats have won the inland Orange County district since its creation in 1983. 

The Associated Press called the race on Thursday, nine days after Election Day. Porter's victory represented the fifth GOP seat that Democrats flipped in the 2018 midterms, an devastating blow to the new Republican leader, California Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRepublicans need to stop Joe Biden's progressive assault on America Top academics slam Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act Boehner: 'There's a lot of leaders in the Republican Party' MORE

Walters, a former Laguna Niguel mayor and state lawmaker, had aligned herself with the unpopular President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE this past election cycle. She was one of a handful of vulnerable Republicans who voted for and defended both Trump’s Obamacare repeal bill and his tax cuts law.

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Porter, a consumer-protection attorney, seized on Walters’s unapologetic support of the Trump agenda, running ads that said her GOP opponent voted with the president 98 percent of the time. 

That strategy appeared to work in a district that has become bluer and more diverse in recent years as Hispanic and Asian populations continue to grow in Orange County. Although Republicans have a slight voter-registration advantage in California’s 45th district, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhy does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Republican legislators target private sector election grants How Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 MORE beat then-candidate Donald Trump there by 5 percentage points in 2016.

Walters’s defeat puts an end to her leadership ambitions. The two-term lawmaker had served as the freshman and sophomore class’s liaison to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump faces test of power with early endorsements Lobbying world Boehner throws support behind Republican who backed Trump impeachment MORE’s (R) leadership team. She’s also a deputy chairwoman at the National Congressional Campaign Committee, the GOP’s campaign arm, and was seen as a possible successor to current NRCC Chairman Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversFormer Ohio health director won't run for Senate Ohio Democrat Danny O'Connor won't seek Portman's Senate seat Meeting between Trump, Ohio Senate candidates turns tense: report MORE (R-Ohio).