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 Owen McCarthySunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses GOP climate plan faces pushback — from Republicans House GOP campaign arm mocks Democrats after stumbling upon internal info on races MORE

Walters, a former Laguna Niguel mayor and state lawmaker, had aligned herself with the unpopular President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press 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 ClintonThe Democratic demolition derby Juan Williams: Don't count Biden out Candidates in Obama's orbit fail to capitalize on personal ties 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 RyanPaul Ryan says Biden likely won't get Democratic nomination Judd Gregg: Honey, I Shrunk The Party The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power 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 StiversHouse passes bill to allow VA to fund service dogs for veterans with PTSD Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Waters clashes with Trump officials over 'disastrous' housing plans MORE (R-Ohio).