Community activist announces congressional bid in Orange County’s already contested CA-47

Pictured is Joanna Weiss, who announced she would be running for California's 47th Congressional District in 2024.
(Courtesy of Joanna Weiss for Congress)

Another Democratic candidate is entering the race for California’s 47th Congressional District in the hopes of keeping that seat blue in the 2024 election.

Joanna Weiss, founder and president of Women for American Values and Ethics, announced her run to represent the district Wednesday afternoon. Weiss is now one of four Democratic candidates running for the district so far, including former Rep. Harley Rouda, state Sen. Dave Min and Huntington Beach business owner and activist Dominique “Dom” Jones.

Former state Assemblyman Scott Baugh, who ran for the district against Rep. Katie Porter last year, is the only Republican to announce a bid for the seat so far.

Weiss said early response to her announcement has been primarily positive. She described support she’s been receiving as “overwhelming.”

“From the minute that I started discussing my candidacy with everyone from party leaders to national organizations to local leaders and local grassroots support, I’ve been overwhelmed with the encouragement to run … it’s such an important district to win,” she said. “All eyes will be on California in 2024.

“All eyes will be on this district and whether we can hold it.”

As of 2020 redistricting, the 47th Congressional District includes the cities of Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. Porter, who represents the district, announced she will run for Sen. Diane Feinstein’s seat. Feinstein is the oldest sitting senator and is not expected to run for reelection.

Weiss has not previously run for an elected office, but she has long been involved in politics.

In 2016, she founded WAVE, which supported Porter and state Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris in the last election. She is a former lawyer and former adjunct law professor at Chapman University. In an interview Wednesday, Weiss said her experience as a mother, former lawyer and community activist positioned her uniquely in comparison to Rouda and Min.

“I’ve had my ear to the ground and have been a leader ... since I was 15 in Orange County and these skills translate to being able to represent the constituents of the district really well,” Weiss said. “My primary reason for running is because I feel like we need to make sure that we have a better world for our kids.”

“We need to protect everyone from senior citizens … to reproductive rights for our girls to the environment from the devastating effects of climate change. With my proven track record in leadership, I feel that I have the best record for doing so.”

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