Democrats Gear Up To Take on California’s Mimi Walters

Consumer advocate enters race with backing from Warren and Harris

A California law professor backed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has announced a challenge to GOP Rep. Mimi Walters, above. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sitting in a district that swung to Hillary Clinton last fall, California Republican Mimi Walters is a prime Democratic target. 

Consumer advocate and public interest attorney Katie Porter announced her challenge to Walters on Monday with the backing of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris

“Katie is a fighter! She’s been in the trenches with me fighting for families for nearly two decades — and she’s gotten real results,” Warren said in a statement. “There’s no one I trust more to take on Donald Trump and the entrenched special interests in Washington on behalf of working families,” added Warren, who taught Porter at Harvard Law School.  

Harris echoed that praise. As the state's attorney general, the freshman senator appointed Porter to be California’s independent monitor of banks in a nationwide $25 billion mortgage settlement. Porter is now a professor of law specializing in consumer bankruptcy at the University of California, Irvine. 

In announcing her challenge to Walters, Porter played up the two-term congresswoman’s support for President Donald Trump.

“Congresswoman Walters voted for and enthusiastically supported Donald Trump’s health care plan that would have eliminated health coverage for 24 million Americans,” Porter says in the “Why I’m Running” section of her website. Walters voted for GOP leadership’s health care in the Energy and Commerce Committee. 

Porter likely won’t be the only Democrat in the race. Despite the backing from progressive leaders like Warren and Harris, it’s not yet clear Porter will emerge as the pick of local or national Democrats.

Walters won re-election last fall by 17 points, while Clinton won the 45th District by more than 5 points. That was a shift from the previous two presidential elections when Mitt Romney carried it by nearly 12 points and Arizona Sen. John McCain carried it by 5 points.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has put Walters on its initial list of targeted seats for 2018 and began running digital ads against her for her committee vote for the GOP health care plan. 

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