Dana Rohrabacher loses OC seat to real estate executive

Rouda unseats Rohrabacher in 48th Congressional District

Rouda unseats Rohrabacher in 48th Congressional District

Rouda declared victory earlier Saturday. Walter's edge was about 2,000 votes, with about 212,000 votes counted.

Democrats had targeted seven GOP-held House districts in California this year that were carried by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, including Rohrabacher's 48th.

Rouda had 109,591 votes to Rohrabacher's 101,081 votes, with 52 percent of the vote to the Republican's 48 percent, according to the AP. And Young Kim, a Republican, was beating Gil Cisneros by 1.4 percentage points in a race to replace Representative Ed Royce, a Republican who is retiring from the 39th District seat. Harder had a 3,300-vote lead, with 177,000 votes counted.

Rohrabacher reflects the dramatic shift of fortunes in Orange County: He was re-elected by almost 17 points just two years but met his end when Democrats backed a wealthy, pro-business moderate in Rouda. He says he intends to be "honest, transparent, accessible and tireless" in Washington.

Rohrabacher campaign manager Dale Neugebauer told reporters the congressman would have no comment on the ballot count until it's finished at the end of the month.

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, 48th District, speaks to supporters on election night at his campaign headquarters on June 5, 2018 in Costa Mesa, California.

Rouda, a millionaire real estate investor and former Republican, also depicted Rohrabacher as the face of Washington gridlock and criticized the congressman's climate change skepticism.

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Rohrabacher had won all but one of his previous races by double digits going back to 1988 - including a 17-point win two years ago - but the Democratic enthusiasm and strong voter distaste for President Donald Trump in the affluent, suburban seat appears to have been a liability for him this year. He's perhaps best known as Russia's leading defender on Capitol Hill.

With tens of thousands of votes remaining to be counted, the campaign of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California was not conceding defeat Saturday after the Associated Press called the House in favor of his Democratic Party opponent.

Three other California U.S. House races remain too close to call.

However, votes continue to be counted in Orange County, California's 48th District, and The Associated Press has not declared a victor in the race.

Rohrabacher, 71, a one-time speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, has served in the House since 1989.

For state Republicans, Rohrabacher's defeat represents another stinging blow for a party that has seen its fortunes wither for years. This is a contest in which all ballots are most likely to be counted by the end of the month.

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