A week before the November 6th midterm election, Orange County was considered to be reliably Republican, with four of the County’s seven Congressional seats held by the GOP. That included the Congressional seat here in Irvine (CD 45) where Mimi Walters had easily won her last two races. In 2016, Irvine voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for President, but also re-elected Walters, giving her a 17.2% margin over her Democratic rival.
However, the County’s Congressional landscape dramatically changed with the November 6th election, and Irvine was at the center of that change. Democratic challenger, UCI law professor Katie Porter, beat Walters 52.1% to 47.9%. Porter joins Democratic challengers Harley Rouda, Gil Cisneros, and Mike Levin who also flipped their district seats. With those four wins, Orange County’s entire Congressional delegation will be made up of Democratic Representatives.
The County appears to have joined the suburban revolt against President Trump.
Irvine’s State Assembly seat (AD 74) has also changed from red to blue, with Democratic challenger Cottie Petrie-Norris replacing Republican incumbent Matthew Harper.
The political shift did not, however, extend to the local level in Irvine, where pro-Trump Republican Mayor Don Wagner easily won re-election and Wagner’s pro-developer Planning Commissioner, Anthony Kuo was elected to the Council. Both Wagner and Kuo outsourced their campaigns to mega-developer FivePoint. However, FivePoint was unsuccessful in their relentless attacks against Farrah Khan who will join the Council as the only member not to have received financial backing from the developer.