Democrat Harley Rouda advances in California House primary
Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) advanced in the all-party primary on Tuesday in his race for a second term and will square off against Republican Michelle Park Steel in November.
The Associated Press called the race for both Rouda and Steel at 10:30 p.m. PST. Rouda, a former real estate executive, defeated a 15-term GOP incumbent in 2018 and flipped the Orange County-area district to blue.
Rouda defeated ex-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) by seven points at the time in a district that had swung between presidential candidates of both parties in the last three election cycles.
Rohrabacher had come under scrutiny for his calls for warmer relations with Russia, raising questions about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Hillary Clinton carried the district in 2016, which gave Democrats momentum heading into the 2018 midterm elections. But Republicans are still ahead of Democrats in voter registration.
Steel, a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, is hoping to prove that Rouda’s victory was due more to an unpopular incumbent than the district turning more Democratic.
The Cook Political Report currently rates the race as “lean Democratic.”