Harley Rouda Declares Himself Winner Over Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Harley Rouda at his election night party (photo by Matt Coker)

UPDATE, NOV. 10, 8:30 A.M.: Harley Rouda has declared himself the winner of the 48th Congressional District race.

“Since November 6th, my lead over Dana Rohrabacher has increased with every passing day,” says Rouda in a statement today. “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 of Voters, my staff and I are now confident that we have won the congressional race in California’s 48th District.”

The announcement comes after a previous but much more cautious statement Rouda issued Friday evening, which cited the same 7,328-vote advantage but noted there were still thousands of ballots remaining to be counted.

His latest statement continues: “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. Going forward, my mission is to be the absolute best kind of public servant–honest, transparent, accessible and tireless in serving the greater good.

“With my campaign now drawn to a close, my work on behalf of the people of Orange County–on behalf of each and every constituent in the 48th District–begins immediately.”

No word yet from the Rohrabacher camp.

ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 9, 5:09 P.M.: It is looking more like California’s 48th Congressional District is getting a new representative.

The Orange County Registrar of Voters’ latest count shows first time Democratic candidate Harley Rouda with a 7,328-vote lead over 30-year incumbent Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin’s Ballot Box).

Before the count was updated at 5 p.m. today, Rouda had a 4,756-vote lead. On election night, with ballots counted from all 395 precincts, he was up by 2,682 votes.

Tens of thousands of mail-in, absentee and overseas ballots remain to be counted, but as of this evening Rouda has received 105,047 votes, or 51.8 percent, to Rohrabacher’s 97,719 votes, or 48.2 percent.

“Uncle Slammed” Rohrabacher (photo by Jack Gould)

Rohrabacher won his first general election in 1988 with 64 percent of the vote. Before Tuesday, he only dipped below 55 percent in a general election one other time, in 2008, when he defeated popular Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook 53 percent to 43 percent.

While things are trending upward for Rouda, they are dipping downward for Representative Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), who saw her 6,233-vote election night lead over Democrat Katie Porter first shrink to 4,037 votes and now, as of 5 p.m., the 45th district incumbent is only up by 2,020 votes.

According to the latest count from the California Secretary of State, because their races are in districts in more than one county, Republican Young Kim now leads Democrat Gil Cisneros in the 39th by 3,398 votes (81,419, or 51.1 percent, to 78,021, or 45.7 percent); and Democrat Mike Levin, who many have already declared the winner, has extended his lead over Republican Diane Harley in the 49th with 104,146 votes, or 54.3 percent, to her 87,588 votes, or 45.7 percent.

Those districts had been represented by longtime lawmakers Ed Royce (R-Brea) and Darrell Issa (R-Vista) respectively.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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