Jan 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Former Rep. Harley Rouda announces bid to fill Katie Porter's House seat

 Representative Harley Rouda (D-CA) on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) asks questions during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Aug. 24, 2020. Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Former Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday that he is running for the House seat of Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) a day after she announced she would run for Senate in 2024.

Why it matters: Rouda, who was first elected in 2018, decided to not run for election in 2022 in a newly drawn California congressional seat that would have pitted him against Porter.

  • Porter is running for Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat. At 89, Feinstein has not said if she’s running for re-election, but Porter's announcement will put significant pressure on California’s senior senator to decide.

What they're saying: "After years of fires and droughts, California families are grappling with deadly storms and floods; disasters exacerbated by our climate crisis. In Congress, I will be laser-focused on resolving this crisis — and work with anyone to get it done," Rouda tweeted Wednesday.

  • "Orange County deserves leaders that put bipartisanship ahead of brinkmanship, and are focused on delivering results for the hard-working families of our state," he added.
  • "I was that leader in Congress, and I’m proud to run to be it again."

The big picture: Former state Assembly member Scott Baugh, a Republican, announced his bid for Porter's seat on Tuesday.

  • Porter defeated Baugh for the seat in last year's midterms in a tighter-than-expected race.
  • "Voters are rightfully upset with the dysfunction in Washington and deserve better. I am ready to go to work to restore thoughtful, conservative representation to our part of Orange County," Baugh tweeted.
  • Baugh vowed that while he had faced a “huge spending disadvantage” in 2022, that would not be the case in 2024, per the Orange County Register.
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