Election 2024: It's crunch time for candidates running to replace Rep. Katie Porter

Hanna Kang, The Orange County Register on

Published in Political News

LOS ANGELES — It’s down to the wire for the primary race for an open Orange County congressional seat that’s commanded national attention from the media and the campaign arms of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Candidates running for the affluent, coastal 47th congressional district being vacated by Rep. Katie Porter, who is running for U.S. Senate, are hitting the pavement, dropping new ads and raising cash less than a week out from the March 5 primary in an eleventh-hour attempt to make it onto the general election ticket in November.

Porter’s exit has 10 candidates eager to succeed her, including: former GOP Assembly leader Scott Baugh, economics professor Terry Crandall, engineer Tom McGrath, state Sen. Dave Min, engineer Long Pham, real estate broker Boyd Roberts, retired general counsel Bill Smith, business owner Max Ukropina, voting rights advocate Joanna Weiss and security officer Shariq Zaidi.

Stakes are high for this battleground race: CA-47 is one of 37 California seats held by Democrats that the national GOP’s campaign arm sees as a “prime pick up” for Republicans. And it’s labeled by the Democratic Party as a “key to winning a Democratic House majority.”

With less than a week to go until California’s primary election on March 5, how are the candidates spending their time appealing to voters who may still be undecided? Here’s a brief look.

Scott Baugh


It’s business as usual this week for Baugh, who has consistently posted strong fundraising numbers but kept a relatively low profile since announcing his campaign. The former assemblymember said he’s canvassing in neighborhoods throughout the district, which includes Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and portions of Laguna Beach as well as Costa Mesa and Irvine inland, over the next few days.

On Saturday, Baugh will join several other OC Republican candidates to door-knock in Irvine before a fundraiser on Sunday. Baugh, who has about $1.7 million cash on hand, reported raising $77,732 in the pre-primary period from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14.

Walking precincts and knocking on doors gives him a chance to meet constituents where they are, he said.

“You actually get to hear what the constituents are saying and thinking, and sometimes the nuance of how they view an issue,” said Baugh. “They often have unique views or insights that you learn from.”


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