It was a crowded field in the 39th Congressional District, to be sure.
Drawn to a rare open seat in this diverse, well-to-do corner of Orange County, 17 candidates placed their names on the ballot to replace Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton). Six of them were Democrats and, until recently, Herbert H. Lee didn’t stand out among them.
He was a political unknown who paid the filing fee to get on the ballot but raised virtually no money. His fellow Democratic opponents had already spent millions and had been running for the better part of a year.