Former Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) is launching a campaign for Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Calif.) House seat after Porter announced that she would run for the Senate in 2024.
The announcement gives Democrats a high-profile candidate in a highly competitive battleground district that they’re eager to hold on to next year. Rouda was first elected to Congress in 2018, but he lost his reelection bid in 2020 to Republican Michelle Steel. He opted not to run again in 2022 because California’s redrawn House map would have put him head-to-head against Porter.
“This is a battleground district. We need battle-tested leaders who know how to fight — and win,” Rouda said in a statement.
“Orange County deserves leaders that put bipartisanship ahead of brinkmanship, 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.”
Porter’s decision to run for the seat of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has not yet announced her retirement but is widely expected to, has made waves throughout California politics.
While Porter is seen as a top-tier candidate for the Senate seat, she’s also likely to have some stiff competition. Prominent California Democrats, like Reps. Adam Schiff and Ro Khanna, are weighing their own Senate bids.
Politico reported on Wednesday that Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has told her fellow lawmakers that she will jump into the Senate race.
Republican Scott Baugh, who narrowly lost to Porter in November, announced that he would once again run for the House seat in 2024. Without an incumbent in the race, the GOP could have a better shot at flipping the district next year.