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California is determining the balance of power in Congress. Here’s where the state’s House races stand

A man holding a large stack of ballots in a room with an "I voted" poster on the wall behind him
Los Angeles County election assistant Derek Kim works on scanning ballots and tabulating votes in Downey on Friday.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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And then there was one.

Of California’s 52 House seats for the next Congress, only one remains to be called.

This week, Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley defeated physician and Navy veteran Kermit Jones, a Democrat, for an open seat representing a sprawling district along much of the state’s eastern border. And GOP Rep. David. Valadao won his closely fought race in the Central Valley against Democratic state Assemblyman Rudy Salas. The races were called Tuesday and Monday, respectively, by the Associated Press, though official results will take longer. Last week, Rep. Mike Garcia’s win in northern L.A. County tipped control of the House to Republicans.

Although the California congressional delegation looks largely unchanged, several races were decisive in the GOP’s successful effort to seize House control. Valadao’s and Garcia’s districts were among five in California that had been labelled toss-ups by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which has rated House and Senate races for decades. An additional six districts in the state were deemed competitive.

There have been no upsets in the 10 races the Associated Press has called. The remaining race, for an open seat in the Central Valley, is too close to call.

Democrats saw California as a rare opportunity for offense in the 2022 congressional midterms. Republicans hoped to capture blue territory. Neither parties’ wildest dreams came to pass.

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The battle for control of Congress was surprisingly close as Republicans fell short of their hopes for a ‘red wave’ election against Democrats.

Here is where the 11 competitive races stand:

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Congressional District 3 — Republican wins open seat

Dr. Kermit Jones, Kevin Kiley
Navy veteran and physician Kermit Jones, a Democrat, left, and Republican state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.
(Getty)

3rd congressional district map

Republican Assemblymember Kevin Kiley and Democrat Kermit Jones, a physician and Navy veteran, competed for an open seat to represent a largely rural district that stretches nearly 450 miles from Death Valley up through Plumas County. Kiley, who was endorsed by former President Trump, won the district that strongly leans right in voter registration.

California’s 3rd Congressional District stretches 450 miles from Death Valley to Tahoe and past Sacramento suburbs. Residents ask what they have in common.

What to know about the California congressional race between Democratic physician and Navy veteran Kermit Jones and GOP Assemblymember Kevin Kiley.

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Congressional District 9 — Democratic incumbent wins

Democratic Rep. Josh Harder, left, and Republican San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti.
Democratic Rep. Josh Harder, left, and Republican San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti.
(Associated Press)

9th congressional district map

Democratic Rep. Josh Harder fended off a challenge from Republican Tom Patti, who serves on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. San Joaquin County makes up the majority of the largely agricultural district, which is centered on Stockton.

When redistricting broke up his current district and the Democrat incumbent in the new 9th District announced he would retire, Harder decided to run here.

California midterm election: What to know about the congressional race between Democratic Rep. Josh Harder and Republican Tom Patti in the Central Valley.

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Congressional District 13 — undecided

A man in a suit and tie in a photo on the left. And a man in a blue shirt with "John Duarte" in an image on the right.
Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray, left, and Republican businessman John Duarte.
(Associated Press)

13th congressional district map

Democratic Assemblymember Adam Gray and Republican farm owner John Duarte are vying for an open seat in this heavily agricultural, perpetual battleground district in the Central Valley. While Democrats have a significant voter-registration edge over the GOP, low turnout among Democrats and Latinos have made races tighter.

This contest remains the tightest in California. Duarte was ahead of Gray 50.27% to 49.73% as of Tuesday.

In this Central Valley congressional battleground, Democrats praise the Jan. 6 investigation while Republicans tune out or turn thumbs down.

In a key California congressional race, Adam Gray and John Duarte are battling to represent an open House district in the Central Valley.

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Congressional District 22 — Republican incumbent wins

Democratic state Assemblyman Rudy Salas, left, and Republican Rep. David Valadao.
(Associated Press)

22nd congressional district map

Republican incumbent David Valadao defeated Democratic Assemblymember Rudy Salas in this San Joaquin Valley district, which includes portions of Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.

Valadao, a dairy farmer, was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. Salas, who helped his farmworker father in the fields as a youth, would have been the first Latino elected to Congress from the Central Valley.

California Rep. David Valadao is being challenged by Assemblymember Rudy Salas, who would be the first Latino sent to Congress from the Central Valley.

The California congressional race between David Valadao and Rudy Salas is key to the balance of Republican or Democratic power in Congress.

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Congressional District 26 — Democratic incumbent wins

Rep. Julia Brownley, left, and Matt Jacobs in side-by-side photos.
Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley defeated Republican Matt Jacobs.
(Associated Press)

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Democratic incumbent Rep. Julia Brownley faced a challenge from Republican Matt Jacobs, a former federal prosecutor, in this largely Ventura County-based district. The Associated Press called the race for Brownley on Saturday.

The district had become slightly less friendly to Democratic candidates after redistricting, which excised Ventura, a Democratic stronghold, and brought in conservative-leaning Simi Valley. But Democrats still had a significant advantage in voter registration.

California midterm election: Rep. Julia Brownley and Matt Jacobs’ House race is key to the balance of Republican or Democratic power in Congress.

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Congressional District 27 — Republican incumbent wins

Former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith and Republican Rep. Mike Garcia.
(Associated Press)

map of California's 27th congressional district

Incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Garcia defeated former Assemblywoman Christy Smith, a Democrat, in a northern Los Angeles County district that until 2018 was a GOP stronghold. His victory clinched the GOP’s effort to take control of the House.

Republicans lost the House seat in the 2018 midterms, but won it back in a special election in 2019, when Smith and Garcia faced off for the first time. In the 2020 general election, Garcia defeated Smith by 333 votes.

Garcia declared victory last week, writing in a statement that he was “honored to be reelected to serve another two years in Congress.”

In the two months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, Republican candidates have been noticeably quiet on the abortion issue.

California voters see Jan. 6 as a subplot compared with issues such as abortion and the economy ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

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California midterm election: Rep. Mike Garcia and Christy Smith’s House race is key to the balance of Republican or Democratic power in Congress.

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Congressional District 40 — Republican incumbent wins

Young Kim, Asif Mahmood.
Republican Rep. Young Kim fended off a challenge from Dr. Asif Mahmood, a Democrat.
(Los Angeles Times)

40th congressional district map

Republican Rep. Young Kim fended off a challenge from Democrat Dr. Asif Mahmood to secure a second term in Congress. The two had faced off to represent an affluent, suburban and mostly inland Orange County district that spans from Mission Viejo north to Yorba Linda and includes sections of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Republican Rep. Young Kim and Democrat Asif Mahmood battled in a suburban, mostly Orange County district that holds some of the county’s most conservative cities.

In California election ads, Democrats running for Congress spotlight abortion access after Roe vs. Wade’s overturn; Republicans focus on inflation.

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Congressional District 41 — Republican incumbent wins

Will Rollins, Democratic former federal prosecutor, left, fell short of his challenge to Republican Rep. Ken Calvert.
Will Rollins, Democratic former federal prosecutor, left, fell short of his challenge to Republican Rep. Ken Calvert.
(Associated Press)

41st congressional district map

Rep. Ken Calvert, the longest-serving GOP member of California’s congressional delegation, faced a challenge from Democrat Will Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, in an Inland Empire and Coachella Valley district, which includes Corona, Palm Springs, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Lake Elsinore and Norco. The Associated Press called the race for Calvert on Monday.

Rep. Ken Calvert, who has opposed gay rights and once attacked an opponent for being gay, is facing a challenge from a gay Democrat in a newly competitive district.

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Congressional District 45 — Republican incumbent wins

Democratic Navy Reserve officer Jay Chen lost to Republican Rep. Michelle Steel in a contentious race.
(Tom Zasadzinski)

45th congressional district map

GOP Rep. Michelle Steel defeated Democrat Jay Chen, a member of the Board of Trustees for Mt. San Antonio Community College and a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. The race in Orange and L.A. counties, in a district centered on the Vietnamese community of Little Saigon, was marked by claims of racism and red-baiting.

GOP Rep. Michelle Steel’s campaign doctored images to make Democratic rival Jay Chen appear to be a communist sympathizer.

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Congressional District 47 — Democratic incumbent wins

Katie Porter and Scott Baugh speaking into microphones in separate photos.
Democratic Rep. Katie Porter and Republican attorney Scott Baugh.

47th congressional district map

Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine, who has become a national Democratic star, defeated Republican Scott Baugh, a former Assemblyman and ex-leader of the Orange County Republican Party.

Porter won her third term in Congress in a coastal Orange County district spanning from Laguna Beach north to Seal Beach.

The race between Baugh and Porter had become a symbolic battle for the ideological identity of Orange County, once a conservative bastion that has become more politically diverse in recent years.

Porter has money and fame, but Republican Scott Baugh is betting on Orange County’s traditional conservatism to flip her House seat.

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Congressional District 49 — Democratic incumbent wins

Democratic Rep. Mike Levin, left, and Republican former San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott.
(Courtesy)

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49th congressional district map

Democratic Rep. Mike Levin defeated Republican Brian Maryott, a former San Juan Capistrano mayor, in a coastal district that straddles Orange and San Diego counties.

The race was called Wednesday by the Associated Press, through final results will take longer. That evening, Levin was leading Maryott by 52.57% to 47.43%.

The district, stretching from Laguna Beach to Del Mar, encompasses the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and the closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Gas prices worry voters in this coastal California House district, home to many commuters. It’s part of a debate over climate change and energy policy.

California midterm election: The environment, gas prices and veterans’ needs are top issues in the coastal congressional district in Orange and San Diego counties.

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