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US Representative
There are 17 congressional districts covering L.A. County alone, each with its own representative serving in Washington D.C.
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What does a U.S. Representative for California do?

These lawmakers represent individual districts in the U.S. House of Representatives, shaping and passing laws that govern the country.

A civics refresher: The House is one of two chambers of Congress, the other being the Senate. The House and Senate both draft, debate and pass bills that ultimately need approval from both chambers and a president’s signature to become law. The House has to initiate any bills that have to do with taxation, although the Senate can propose changes.

More Voter Guides

City of Los Angeles

L.A. County

  • Sheriff: Compare the two candidates for L.A. County sheriff
  • Water Agencies: Learn what they do and what to look for in a candidate

How to evaluate judges

California propositions

  • Propositions 26 and 27: The difference between the sports betting ballot measures
  • Proposition 29: Why kidney dialysis is on your ballot for the third time
  • Proposition 30: Why Lyft is the biggest funder of this ballot measure

Head to the Voter Game Plan homepage for guides to the rest of your ballot.

The House has a total of 435 representatives, each of whom represents a district. District lines are drawn so that each represents roughly the same number of people — 700,000 on average. Since California has the highest population in the country, it has 52 representatives, more than any other state.

There are 17 districts covering L.A. County alone, each with its own representative. (We had 18 until this year; after the 2020 Census count found that the state population had shrunk, the L.A. area lost one representative.) You can double check your district and your representative here.

Your district may be different from what it was in the last election, thanks to our once-a-decade redistricting process. In 2021, an independent commission redrew the maps for the state’s districts in accordance with the latest Census numbers, and those maps determine which seat you’re voting for on your ballot this year.

When voting, you’re not just thinking about who you want your representative to be, but how they would contribute to the overall makeup and political direction of the House of Representatives. The House’s ability to pass laws, cooperate with the president, or get anything done in general depends a lot on what those divisions look like — if there’s a Republican or Democratic majority, how large that majority is, and the ratio between moderates and those with farther right or farther left views. And often, bills are passed — or rejected — strictly along party lines.

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In Southern California, a handful of districts have become competitive. Orange County has historically elected primarily Republican representatives, but four districts flipped to elect Democrats during the 2018 elections. Two flipped back to Republicans in 2020.

Meanwhile, L.A. County has largely elected Democrats — currently, 15 of 18 congressional seats are held by Democrats (two of the Republican-led districts are also largely made up of other counties).

Representatives are elected to two-year terms without term limits, so they’re on your ballot a lot. Many have been reelected time and time again — for instance, Rep. Maxine Waters of District 43 (which includes Inglewood, Hawthorne and Torrance) has been in her seat since 1990.

The June 7 vote is a primary vote. That means the two candidates who receive the most votes, regardless of their party, will continue on to the general election in November, and the person who wins the most votes in November is the one elected to office.

You may recognize their work from…

In recent years, the House has:

  • Passed $5.7 trillion worth of spending bills to provide financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of stimulus checks, funds for hospitals and education, unemployment benefits, testing and vaccine distribution, and more.
  • Passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to fund roads, rail, public transit, water, internet access and more. 
  • Impeached President Trump — twice. The House first voted in favor of impeachment in December 2019 following allegations that Trump had solicited help from the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 presidential election to support his reelection bid. It voted again to impeach Trump in 2021, accusing him of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. The Senate acquitted Trump of all charges in both cases.

What’s on the agenda for the next term?

Along with the Senate, the House has to find solutions or relief measures for the big problems facing the country right now: inflation, high gas prices, the continued threat of climate change, fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the possibility of new COVID-19 surges and variants. Congress also has to figure out how to solve long-standing issues that have faced legislative impasses, like immigration reform, student debt relief, and paid family leave.

More reading

Represent (ProPublica): You can use this tool to look up any legislator and see what they’ve done in Congress, from how they voted on bills to statements they’ve made on national issues. 


The Candidates

Here are all the candidates running for 17 congressional seats in L.A. County. We’ve listed each candidate’s title, party affiliation, campaign website, and campaign finance where information was available. For sitting members of Congress, we’ve also included links to their voting records. The top two candidates in each district, regardless of party, will compete in the runoff election in November.

Two races in L.A. County are considered highly competitive: District 27 and District 42.


District 23

Derek Marshall, Community Organizer (Democratic)

More resources: 

  • Read more about Derek Marshall’s priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Jay Obernolte, Congressman/Businessowner (Republican)

Campaign website: electjay.com
Congressional website: obernolte.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources: 


District 26

Julia Brownley, Congresswoman (Democratic)

Campaign website: juliabrownley.com
Congressional website: juliabrownley.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources: 

Matt Jacobs, Federal Prosecutor/Father (Republican)

More resources:

  • Read more about Matt Jacobs’ priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

District 27

From CalMatters’ 2022 Voter Guide:

Hot race / Leans Democratic 

The District
There’s a little bit of San Fernando Valley to the south, a big chunk of Antelope Valley to the north, but the heart of this district is Santa Clarita. This is a historically conservative valley, populated by the “white flight” out of Los Angeles proper in the 1970s and domicile to many a suburb-seeking cop. But few places are as emblematic of the suburban shift away from the Republican Party during the Trump years as this part of northern Los Angeles County.

Voter registration: 41.5% Democratic, 29.5% Republican, 21.7% no party preference

The Scoop

Primary results: Mike Garcia 47.1%, Christy Smith 37.4%

From Republican Steve Knight to Democrat Katie Hill back to Republican Garcia, this district, once a GOP stronghold, has been ping-ponging between the parties since 2016. In 2020, Garcia, the conservative former Navy pilot and Georgetown graduate, held on to the seat by a mere 333 votes, the third closest outcome of any congressional race in the country that year. And that was before redistricting jettisoned the district’s most conservative outpost in Simi Valley, giving Democratic voters even more of an edge.

Challenging Garcia is Democrat Smith. Again. A relatively moderate former member of the Assembly, she ran in the special election to fill this area’s congressional seat after Katie Hill resigned in 2019. She also ran during the regularly scheduled election. She lost both times. While most of the state’s Democratic establishment was quick to rally behind her for another go, some national Democratic groups and members of Congress were slower to get on board, evidently skeptical that her third time would in fact be the charm.

What makes this showdown between the two rivals different is that Garcia is now an elected member of Congress. That affords him the typical advantages of an incumbent, but it also means that the conservative congressman, who hasn’t always softened his positions to match the blue hue of his district, will have to defend his record. While Garcia bucked much of his party by supporting a bill codifying the right to same-sex marriage, he also voted against the certification of the 2020 presidential election, maintains sterling ratings with advocacy groups that oppose abortion rights, and recently compared the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the “Third Reich” after federal agents searched Donald Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago.

Mike Garcia, Congressman/Father

Campaign website: electmikegarcia.com
Congressional website: mikegarcia.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Voter’s Edge)

More resources:

Christy Smith, California Environmental Councilmember

More resources:

  • Read more about Christy Smith’s priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

District 28

Judy Chu, United States Representative (Democrat)

Campaign website: judychu.org
Congressional website: chu.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:

Wes Hallman, Nonprofit VP/Father (Republican)

More resources:

  • Read more about Wes Hallman’s priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

District 29

Tony Cárdenas, U.S. Representative (Democratic)

Campaign website: tonycardenasforcongress.com
Congressional website: cardenas.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements:  List of endorsements (Voter’s Edge)

More resources:

Angélica María Dueñas, Mother/Community Organizer (Democratic)

More resources:

  • Read more about Angélica María Dueñas’ priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

District 30

G. "Maebe A. Girl" Pudlo, Silver Lake Neighborhood Councilwoman (Democratic)

More resources:

  • Read more about G. "Maebe A. Girl" Pudlo’s priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Adam B. Schiff, United States Representative (Democratic)

Campaign website: adamschiff.com
Congressional website: schiff.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Voter’s Edge)


District 31

Daniel Bocic Martinez, Attorney/Entrepreneur/Educator (Republican)

More resources:

  • Read more about Dan Bocic Martinez’s priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Grace F. Napolitano, U.S. Representative (Democratic)

Campaign website: napolitanoforcongress.com
Congressional website: napolitano.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:


District 32

Brad Sherman, Member, United States Congress (Democratic)

Campaign website: bradsherman.com
Congressional website: sherman.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements(Campaign website)

More resources:

Lucie Lapointe Volotzky, Mother/Business Owner (Republican)

Campaign website: voteforlucie.com
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

  • Read more about Lucie Lapointe Volotzky's experience on Voter's Edge

District 34

Jimmy Gomez, Congressmember (Democratic)

Campaign website: jimmygomezforcongress.com
Congressional website: gomez.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements(Campaign website)

More resources:

David Kim, Immigration Attorney (Democratic)

More resources:


District 35

Mike Cargile, Independent Businessman (Republican)

More resources:

Norma J. Torres, Member of Congress (Democratic)

Campaign website: normatorres.com
Congressional website: torres.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:


District 36

Joe E. Collins, III, Retired Navy Sailor (Republican)

More resources:

Ted W. Lieu, Congressman (Democratic)

Campaign website: tedlieu.com
Congressional website: lieu.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:


District 37

Sydney Kamlager, CA State Senator (Democratic)

More resources:

  • Read more about Sydney Kamlager's priorities and experience on Voter's Edge

Jan C. Perry, Community Investment Executive (Democratic)

Campaign website: janperry.com
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:

  • Read more about Jan Perry's priorities and experience on Voter's Edge

District 38

Eric J. Ching (Republican)

More resources:

  • Read more about Eric J. Ching's priorities and experience on Voter's Edge

Linda T. Sánchez, Mom/Congresswoman (Democratic)

Campaign website: voteforlinda.com
Congressional website: lindasanchez.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:


District 42

It was a crowded, competitive race for the Democratic candidacy, but this is a safe Democratic seat for the general election.

John Briscoe, Governing Board Member, Ocean View School District of Orange County (Republican)

More resources:

  • Read more about John Briscoe's priorities and experience on Voter's Edge

Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach (Democratic)

More resources:

  • Read more about Robert Garcia's priorities and experience on Voter's Edge

District 43

Omar Navarro, Small Business Owner (Republican)

More resources:

  • Read more about Omar Navarro's experience and priorities and Voter's Edge

Maxine Waters, United States Congresswoman (Democratic)

Campaign website: maxinewatersforcongress.com
Congressional website: waters.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Voter's Edge)

More resources:


District 44

Nanette Diaz Barragán, United States Congressmember (Democratic)

Campaign website: barraganforcongress.com
Congressional website: barragan.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:

  • Read more about Nanette Diaz Barragán’s priorities and experience on Voter's Edge
  • Explore their legislative record

Paul Jones, Minister (Republican)

More resources:

  • Read more about Paul Jones' priorities and experience on Voter's Edge

District 45

From CalMatters’ 2022 Voter Guide:

Hot race / Leans Republican
 
The district

This district runs from Brea and Fullerton in north Orange County, out east to “Little India” in Artesia, before heading south to the center of the region’s political gravity in Westminster and Garden Grove — Little Saigon. Once presumed to be a Republican stronghold, the stereotype of a community full of anti-communist Cold Warriors hasn’t rung true for a while. Democrats now outnumber Republicans here, though turnout still tends to favor the GOP.

Voter registration: 37.7% Democratic, 32.4% Republican, 24.7% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Michelle Steel 48.2%, Jay Chen 43.1%

California’s independent redistricting commission was tasked with keeping “communities of interest” together to magnify their political power. By that yardstick, this race is a resounding success. Both candidates in this Asian-plurality district are Asian American.

That may be where the similarities between Steel and Chen end. Steel, 66, is an Orange County GOP institution. Married to Shawn Steel, former California Republican Party chairperson and current RNC chairperson from California, she was elected to the state Board of Equalization — reportedly becoming the highest ranking Korean American elected official in the country at the time — before winning a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She picked up her congressional seat in 2020, in part by running on her opposition to Gov. Newsom’s COVID-19 mandates. Back then, the district was narrowly Republican. This new one is narrowly Democratic.

Chen, 20 years younger than Steel, is hoping to take advantage of that change of political scenery. A longtime local politico, he’s a current community college board trustee, a former school board member and a two-time congressional candidate. Since the U.S. Supreme Court rescinded the federal right to an abortion, Chen has been particularly aggressive in pointing out Steel’s conservative views on the subject.

Since before the primary, Steel has repeatedly depicted Chen as a lefty extremist. That’s in part by pointing out his past as a delegate to the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But in a throwback appeal to the district’s anti-Communist roots, she’s also suggested that Chen, a longtime Navy reservist and the son of Taiwanese immigrants, would be soft on the Chinese Communist Party.

Jay F. Chen, Lieutenant Commander/Businessman (Democratic)

More resources:

  • Read more about Jay F. Chen's priorities and experience on Voter's Edge

Michelle Steel, U.S. Representative (Republican)

Campaign Website: michellesteelca.com
Congressional Website: https://steel.house.gov
Contributions: See all campaign contributions via the Federal Elections Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (Campaign website)

More resources:

More on this race:

More Voter Guides

City of Los Angeles

L.A. County

  • Sheriff: Compare the two candidates for L.A. County sheriff
  • Water Agencies: Learn what they do and what to look for in a candidate

How to evaluate judges

California propositions

  • Propositions 26 and 27: The difference between the sports betting ballot measures
  • Proposition 29: Why kidney dialysis is on your ballot for the third time
  • Proposition 30: Why Lyft is the biggest funder of this ballot measure

Head to the Voter Game Plan homepage for guides to the rest of your ballot.

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