If House Democrats are going to ride an anti-Trump wave to power, California could be where it starts. Across the nation, there are 23 House Republicans sitting in districts that Hillary Clinton won. Seven are in California.
Clinton won some of those California districts by a lot. The Orange County-area seat represented by Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.) is a typical, affluent suburban Republican district that went for Clinton over President Trump by nearly nine points. That made it one of the most pro-Clinton Republican-held districts in the nation.
No surprise then, that districts like this one are a top Democratic focus in the 2018 midterms. If Democrats net 24 seats, they’ll take back the majority.
No surprise then, that Royce, who has been in office for more than two decades, has at least five potential Democratic challengers — most, if not all of them first-time candidates.
The latest to enter the race: Andy Thorburn, a wealthy businessman and former public school teacher who officially announced his candidacy Tuesday. Thorburn doesn’t have the Washington backing as some other candidates, but does have a backstory of being jailed for 30 days while on strike in New Jersey for better teacher wages.
Thorburn is automatically competitive because of the $2 million he’s loaned himself to try to win the primary. His campaign says that’s more resources than any Democratic challenger currently has in a congressional contest.
Thorburn talks like a Bernie Sanders Democrat with the trade policy of a Republican, a reflection of Orange County’s rapidly blurring socio-economic and demographic lines. (The district is roughly a third Hispanic, a third Asian and a third white.)
Thorburn supports raising the minimum wage and getting student loan debt under control. He’s for free trade. He likes Obama and Obamacare, he hates Trump. And, above all, he thinks the system is corrupt.
“The system is definitely rigged,” he said, explaining how one needs money or connections to launch a credible run for federal office. “It’s been a corrupt system — not corrupt in a bribery sense — but it’s a very corrupted system.”
Read more at The Washington Post.