Long-Term Incumbent Refuses to Concede in US House Race

(CN) – Republican incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher refuses to concede in his race to save his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, despite being about 10,000 votes behind Democratic challenger Harley Rouda as of Tuesday evening and even after the Associated Press called the race on Saturday.

The race for the 48th Congressional District was called over the weekend for Rouda, 56, a real estate developer who was once a registered Republican and presented one of the first major challenges for the Rohrabacher since he first won office in 1988.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. (Nathan Solis/CNS)

A spokesperson for Rohrabacher’s campaign said he would wait for the official vote count from the Orange County Registrar of Voters before making a statement as there are votes left to count. Updates have been coming in since last Tuesday and county officials report there are about 260,000 ballots left to count as of Tuesday evening.

With each update, however, Rouda has widened his lead against Rohrabacher and the Democratic challenger declared himself the winner over the weekend on Twitter.

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to work beside all of you and make history in Orange County. I am incredibly honored to represent you,” Rouda said.

On Election Night, the race to represent the coastal district in California was deadlocked, with Rohrabacher leading by just 27 votes at one point.

After it was announced on Election Night that Republicans would take control of the Senate, but lose its majority in the House, Rohrabacher said it was a “night with a mixed message.”

The Democratic National Committee listed Rohrabacher as a “weak” Republican candidate earlier in the year, someone who could be unseated with enough resources going toward his opponent.

Rohrabacher accused “outside special interest groups” of influencing last Tuesday’s results. At his Huntington Beach campaign party on Election Night, he compared his race to a David versus Goliath matchup, despite being a 15-term incumbent.

Rohrabacher, 71, entered office in 1988 and has held onto the seat with his hard-line conservative policies. More recently, he made headline-grabbing comments this year when he said wealthy immigrants should pay for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, according to the Times of San Diego.

The 48th District in Southern California includes the affluent communities of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and parts of Orange County.

%d bloggers like this: