October 7, 2022
Election Day 2022 is 32 days away!
Republican Jewish Coalition

Focus on California

The Golden State lost a congressional seat in last year’s reapportionment for the first time ever, but it still has more House districts than any other state – 52. Because of gerrymandering and other factors, Republicans currently hold just ten of them, but that’s an improvement from where we were just a few years ago.

In 2020, Republicans broke through in four districts. In Orange County, Rep. Young Kim and Rep. Michelle Steel defeated Democratic incumbents, and nearby in LA county, Rep. Mike Garcia flipped a Democrat open seat in a May special election and held it in November. In the Central Valley, Rep. David Valadao reclaimed the seat he’d held from 2015 to 2019 from now-indicted Democratic Rep. TJ Cox. Prior to these wins, Republicans hadn’t flipped a California seat from blue to red since the 1990s!

Two years later, it’s no surprise that Democrats have targeted all of these freshman Republicans for defeat. Redistricting made things more challenging for three of the four. In 2020, the new Valadao and Garcia districts preferred Biden over Trump 55-42, Steel’s went for Biden 52-46, and Biden narrowly carried Kim’s new district as well. The good news is that these incumbents have already proven their ability to win in districts that were nearly as challenging and this time they have some significant advantages as incumbents. Valadao’s Democratic challenger, State Senator Rudy Salas is formidable, but Democrats’ nominees in the three southern California districts are subpar.

Republican strategists are also somewhat concerned about veteran Rep. Ken Calvert in the Riverside-based 41st district. Post-redistricting, much of the terrain is new to the incumbent, and challenger Will Rollins has become a darling of “netroots” Democrat small and medium donors nation-wide. Fortunately, Calvert, who is in line to chair the powerful Defense Appropriations subcommittee in a GOP-controlled House, is taking nothing for granted, running an aggressive campaign to introduce himself to new constituents and educate them about Rollins’ left-wing views.

Those are the seats where we’re on defense. But there are almost as many where we’re on offense. In one of this election cycle’s biggest surprises, Republican John Duarte, a successful businessman who comes out of the Central Valley’s critical agriculture sector, is in a dead heat with long-time State Senator Adam Gray in the 13th district, which Biden carried by nearly ten percent in 2020.

Republicans have strong candidates in two Orange County seats that Democrats flipped in 2018 and narrowly retained in 2020. In the 47th district, former assemblyman and county party chair Scott Baugh argues that Elizabeth Warren protégé Rep. Katie Porter is too extreme for a mostly moderate constituency. And financial advisor Brian Maryott is making a similar case against lower-profile Democrat Rep. Mike Levin.

Finally, there is a great opportunity to add a Jewish Republican to the California delegation. In the 26th district – Ventura County – former prosecutor Matt Jacobs is mounting a spirited challenge to Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley, a Pelosi loyalist who has had an easy ride for the last few cycles in an area that sent Republicans to Congress until relatively recently. Jacobs recently attained full "Young Guns" status in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s candidate development program.

One manifestation of Democrat-dominated California’s well-known government dysfunction is that vote-counting drags on for weeks. It’s possible that we’ll be waiting that long to know which party won the House based on how these nine races turn out.

Please support all of these RJC-PAC endorsed Republicans in critical swing districts!

To victory,


Senator Norm Coleman
RJC National Chairman

Republican Jewish Coalition | 50 F Street, N.W., Suite 100 | Washington, DC 20001
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