Democrat Harley Rouda, a real estate executive and former Republican who switched parties, declared victory today (Saturday November 10, 2018), defeating notorious homophobe Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who has held California’s 48th Congressional seat since being elected in 1988.
Rouda declares victory after holding his lead throughout the week while absentee, mail-in and provisional ballots continue to be counted. His lead increased slightly every day.
“As of this morning, my campaign is ahead by 7,328 votes. After careful consideration of the data provided by the fantastic team at the Orange County Registrar, my staff and I are now confident that we have won the Congressional race in California’s 48th district,” he wrote on Twitter.
“This victory has been powered by voters across the political spectrum, hailing from all corners, and all communities, of the 48th district. I am deeply humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve in Congress,” he wrote, adding “With my campaign now drawn to a close, my work on behalf of the people of Orange County – on behalf of each and every 48th district constituent – begins immediately.”
As of this morning, my campaign is ahead by 7,328 votes. After careful consideration of the data provided by the fantastic team at the Orange County Registrar, my staff and I are now confident that we have won the Congressional race in California’s 48th district.
— Harley Rouda (@HarleyRouda) November 10, 2018
Rohrabacher, a stauch Trump supporter and defender of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, is famous for making outrageous statements and recently grabbed headlines telling the National Association of Realtors that people should be allowed to refuse to sell homes to gay people.
“Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don’t agree with their lifestyle,” Rohrabacher said, according to Wayne Woodyard, a former president of the Orange County Association of Realtors.
“We’ve drawn a line on racism, but I don’t think we should extend that line,” Rohrabacher told the Orange County Register. “A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”
The group’s 1.3 million members withdrew their endorsement.
In the 1990s Rohrabacher once made an attack on the House floor against the National Endowment for the Arts for sponsoring “drawings of homosexual orgies, bestiality and a Statue of Liberty turned into a transvestite, complete with male sex organs.”
7,328 votes separated Rouda and Rohrabacher with 100 percent of the vote counted. You can see the current count here.
Election officials have yet to declare a winner.
The district runs from Seal Beach to Laguna Niguel and stretches eastward to portions of Westminster and Garden Grove. Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Beach are also represented.
But don’t take it as a sign that the area is becoming terribly progressive.
In the 72nd District state assembly race, Republican Tyler Diep was ahead of Democrat Josh Lowenthal, 54.3% to 45.7% after Diep, vice Mayor of Westminster, mass mailed an anti-Semitic themed flyer in an attack on his opponent.