The seat in the redrawn and mostly rural CA-13 is open. CA State Assemblyman Adam Gray will face Republican John Duarte, a farmer who heads his family’s nursery business. Democrats tout Gray’s credentials as a Blue Dog who emphasizes his farm roots and is willing to fight his party on water and the so-called “tractor tax.” Republicans are enthusiastic about the wealthy Duarte, who is running as an outsider. The battle for the district is expected to be fierce; the GOP sees the 13th as a chance to grab the open seat. Duarte placed first in the all-party primary (34-32%).
CA-22 is Devin Nunes’ former district. When he left to become CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, Republican Connie Conway won the special election. But Conway didn’t run for reelection, clearing the way for Republican David Valadao, now representing CA-21. In the nonpartisan primary Democratic State Assemblyman Rudy Salas won with 45% of the vote to Valadao’s 25%. However, Valadao so far has outraised Salas. This sets up the 22nd – located in the San Joaquin Valley – as flippable but a battle.
North of Los Angeles CA-27 now includes a bit of San Fernando Valley, a chunk of Antelope Valley, and Santa Clarita. The historically conservative valley swings blue to red to back again. Republican Mike Garcia switched into this district from CA-25 where he is serving this first term. Democratic State Assemblywoman Christy Smith trailed Garcia in the primary, 49.6% to 35.4%. But Smith enjoys an 11-percentage point Democratic voter registration advantage.
CA-45 is also bluer. In Orange County, where President Reagan said is a place “where old Republicans go to die,” Democrats outnumber Republicans in voter registration. And there is a sizable no-party preference voter bloc. Democrat Jay Chen (D) is challenging Republican Cong.Michelle Steel in November. Steel positions herself as a moderate but has voted against protections for both same sex marriage and contraception. In the primary, Steel received 48% of the vote while Chen received 43%. CA-45 is currently represented by Katie Porter.
Speaking of Rep. Katie Porter, she’s now running in CA-47, a slightly more Democratic district. In the June primary, Porter bested her Republican opponent, Scott Baugh, with 51% of the vote compared to 30.8%. Porter, known for her white board presentations to take down Republican lies, has outraised Baugh more than 16 to 1. Still, the race is a top GOP target in the battle for House control, and Democrats have listed Porter as a “front-liner” in defending their majority.
In CA-49, incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Levin cruised to victory in the primary, garnering 48.9% of the vote against two Republican opponents. The winner, Brian Maryott, received only 19%. Levin ran on progressive campaign themes including abortion access, gun policy reform, and Medicare for all. Maryott vows to fight so-called Critical Race Theory in schools and supports a total ban on abortions. This seat is much safer than the other two Dem holds.