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Election 2020: Five, including O.C. supervisor, take on Rep. Harley Rouda in 48th Congressional District race

Harley Rouda and Michelle Steel
Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) and Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel (R-Seal Beach) are the highest-profile candidates among six running for Rouda’s 48th Congressional District seat.
(File Photos)

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) is facing five challengers in his bid for reelection representing the 48th Congressional District.

The top two vote-getters in the primary election March 3 will advance to the general election in November.

The 48th District includes Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Laguna Niguel and parts of Garden Grove, Midway City, Aliso Viejo, Santa Ana and Westminster.

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The candidates are:

Harley Rouda

Party: Democrat
Currently: U.S. representative, 48th Congressional District
Age: 58
Campaign fundraising: $1.4 million since Jan. 1, 2019
Endorsements include: Orange County Professional Firefighters Assn., Costa Mesa Firefighters Assn., Huntington Beach Firefighters’ Assn., Sierra Club, California Labor Federation, National Assn. of Home Builders, Equality California, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Women for American Values and Ethics
Website: harleyforcongress.com

In 2018, Rouda won his first two-year term in the House of Representatives by unseating 30-year incumbent Dana Rohrabacher. Rouda is a member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He also is chairman of the oversight committee’s subcommittee on environment. Before being elected, he was a lawyer and real estate businessman.

Michelle Steel

Party: Republican
Currently: Chairwoman, Orange County Board of Supervisors
Age: 64
Campaign fundraising: $982,276 since Jan. 1, 2019
Endorsements include: State Sen. John Moorlach, Assemblyman Tyler Diep, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta, Fountain Valley Mayor Cheryl Brothers, Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill, Lincoln Club of Orange County, California Republican Party, Republican Party of Orange County
Website: michellesteelca.com

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Steel, who announced her bid for Congress in May, represents the 2nd District on the Board of Supervisors, which includes Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Cypress, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Stanton and parts of Fountain Valley and Buena Park. She has held that seat since 2014. The Seal Beach resident also was a member of the California State Board of Equalization.

Brian Burley

Party: Republican
Currently: Small-business owner and information technology specialist
Age: 26
Campaign fundraising: $29,300 since Jan. 1, 2019
Endorsements: James Bradley, a former candidate for U.S. Senate
Website: brianburley.com

Burley owns Burley Technology, an IT consulting and social media marketing company based in Huntington Beach. He also is an IT specialist at USC.

James Brian Griffin

Party: Republican
Currently: Real estate broker
Age: 64
Campaign fundraising: Unavailable
Endorsements: Unavailable
Website: jamesbgriffinforcongress.org

Griffin is a real estate broker and owns JBGmg, a business development service based in Huntington Beach. He also published a book in 2017 called “57 Jobs and Counting: A Career Path Less Traveled and Guide to Finding Your Passion.”

Richard Mata

Party: Independent
Currently: Retired educator
Age: Unavailable
Campaign fundraising: Unavailable
Endorsements: Unavailable
Website: Unavailable

Mata’s campaign filing lists him as a retired educator. Information about his campaign fundraising and endorsements were not available.

John Thomas Schuesler

Party: Republican
Currently: Mortgage consultant and filmmaker
Age: 62
Campaign fundraising: Unavailable
Endorsements: Unavailable
Website: electjohnthomas.com

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Schuesler is the founder and chief executive of Ameristar Capital Mortgage, a mortgage broker based in Huntington Beach that specializes in residential mortgages. He also is a filmmaker and documentarian.

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