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Harley Rouda Won't Run Against Katie Porter In 2022

An image of then-Congressman Harley Rouda. He is wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and a blue and white tie with diagonal stripes. A pin that identifies him as a member of Congress is pinned to his left lapel and he is gesturing with his right hand.
Representative Harley Rouda (D-CA) questions U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Tom Williams-Pool
Getty Images)
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The Democrat who knocked a Republican congressman out of one of Orange County's most entrenched GOP strongholds has announced he won't seek office this year. Former Representative Harley Rouda made the announcement on Monday.

In 2018, Rouda beat longtime Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to represent OC's northern coastal cities, including Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Then, the moderate Democrat lost his seat in 2020 to former OC Republican Supervisor Michelle Steel.

Rouda was hoping to win it back this year, but the redistricting process moved his district to what is now part of the new District 47. That includes Irvine, where the high-profile Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter lives. And she plans to run again.

Democratic Congressional candidate Katie Porter greets supporters at an event in Irvine on November 6, 2018.
AFP via Getty Images)
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Rouda says he's not interested in running against Porter. In a statement, Rouda said it was a pragmatic decision. He said he'd instead focus on supporting other candidates with "common sense values."

He also lamented the division and extremism he said had taken over the country and said he never imagined when he first decided to run that he would need a bullet-proof vest and armed guards at town halls.

No major Republican challengers have yet emerged to take on Porter in the new District 47. The primary takes place on June 7 of this year.

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