Democrat Katie Porter captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat Thursday in the heart of what once was Southern California’s Reagan country, extending a rout of the state’s GOP House delegation that might not be over.
Porter’s upset in Orange County is a sign of changing times in a region once known nationally as a GOP fortress. The coastal county southeast of Los Angeles was home to President Richard Nixon, and President Ronald Reagan once likened it to a Republican heaven.
Porter, a law professor and protege of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, defeated Republican Rep. Mimi Walters, who was re-elected in a walkover just two years ago in the 45th District. The latest update to the vote count gave Porter 51 percent and a 6,203-vote lead.