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Former Rep. Harley Rouda announces another Congressional bid  

Harley Rouda, then representing the 48th District, center, talks to members of the Huntington Beach Rotary Club in 2019.
Harley Rouda, then representing the 48th District, center, talks to members of the Huntington Beach Rotary Club in 2019.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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A day after Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) announced her bid for the U.S. Senate, former Rep. Harley Rouda on Wednesday announced he would seek another term in Congress in Porter’s district.

Rouda, a Democrat who was elected in 2018 and served one term, was unseated by Michelle Steel, a Republican. Rouda was considering another run for Congress last year, but when Porter jumped into the 47th Congressional District he got out of the way.

Hours after Porter’s announcement Tuesday, her Republican opponent last year, businessman Scott Baugh, announced he would vie for the seat again.

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“Today, California families are grappling with deadly storms and floods, a disaster exacerbated by our climate crisis,’’ Rouda said in his announcement. “In Congress, I will be laser-focused on resolving this crisis — and work with anyone to get it done.”

Rouda added the 47th District is a “battleground district. We need battle-tested leaders who know how to fight — and win.”

Rouda also said the county “deserves leaders that put bipatisanship ahead of brinksmanship, and focused on delivering results for the working families of our state. I was that leader in Congress, and I’m proud to run to do it again.”

The district includes Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Seal Beach.

Porter defeated Baugh 51.7% to 48.3%.

Orange County Republican Chairman Fred Whitaker told City News Service he believes Baugh will not face any opponents from his own party.

“It’s wise to get behind one candidate early like we did with (Reps.) Young Kim and Michelle Steel in 2020,’’ Whitaker said. “It’s a very challenging district, but deeply winnable because it’s almost even in voter registration.”

Whitaker said he suspects multiple Democrats will enter the race, which could split the vote in the primary.

“Democrats are going to have three or four candidates,” Whitaker said. “I’m actually hopeful the Democrats are the ones who are splitting the vote.”

Whitaker speculated that state Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) will run along with Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley.

“I’ve just been sworn in to the Board of Supervisors and I love that job and I’m going to get to work on behalf of District 5 in the county of Orange,’’ Foley told City News Service. “I appreciate that I’m a formidable opponent for the district and just coming off a successful campaign, but I pledged to the voters to be their supervisor and work on their behalf.”

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