California Target Book

48th Congressional District

Dana Rohrabacher (R)

First Elected: 1988

President '12 U.S. Senate '12 Congress '12 Congress '14
Obama (D-Inc)
Romney (R)
Feinstein (D-Inc)
Emken (R)
Ron Varasteh (D)
Dana Rohrabacher (R-Inc)
Suzanne Joyce Savary (D)
Dana Rohrabacher (R-Inc)
President '16 U.S. Senate '16 Prop 62 '16 Congress '16
Clinton (D)
Trump (R)
Harris (D)
Sanchez (D)
Suzanne Savary (D)
Dana Rohrabacher (R-Inc)

LOCATION: Orange County coastal district encompassing Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel and inland cities of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Midway City, Aliso Viejo and a portion of Santa Ana. DISTRICT MAP | DISTRICT PROFILE

ETHNIC POPULATION (2010 Census): Latino 20%; Asian 17%; Black 1%; White (non-Hispanic) 59%

VOTER REGISTRATION (Feb '17): Dem: 29.84%; Rep: 41.21%; NPP: 24.21% - Total Voters - 406,602
     Permanent vote-by-mail voters: 64.46%
     Ethnic voter registration: Latino: 11%, Asian: 14% (Vietnamese: 8%)


P12: DEM: 28.33%; REP: 44.80%; NPP: 22.03% - Total Registered: 437,502 - Turnout: 27.71%
G12: DEM: 28.36%; REP: 43.95%; NPP: 22.65% - Total Registered: 455,429 - Turnout: 68.75%
P14: DEM: 28.34%; REP: 44.15%; NPP: 22.59% - Total Registered: 379,096 - Turnout: 26.24%
G14: DEM: 28.23%; REP: 43.87%; NPP: 22.90% - Total Registered: 381,935 - Turnout: 48.05%
P16: DEM: 29.82%; REP: 43.27%; NPP: 22.46% - Total Registered: 373,472 - Turnout: 50.22%
G16: DEM: 30.00%; REP: 41.38%; NPP: 23.93% - Total Registered: 405,220 - Turnout: 81.93%

Born: June 21, 1947
Committees and Caucuses
DANA ROHRABACHER, a southern California native, graduated from Palos Verdes High School, received his bachelor’s in History from CSU Long Beach and his master’s in American Studies from USC.

He is a former editorial writer for The Orange County Register.  Prior to his election to Congress in 1988, he worked in the White House as a speechwriter for President Reagan. In 1997, he married his wife, Rhonda, and in 2004 they became parents of triplets.


CAMPAIGN 2018: While ordinarily safely Republican, Hillary Clinton  carried CA48 by close to 2% in 2016, and the  DCCC has placed this district on their initial 2018 target list. Following Rohrabacher's vote in favor of the Republican AHCA measure to repeal Obamacare, the House Majority PAC, a super PAC affiliated with Democratic leadership, began running radio ads against him. With his ongoing defense of both Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, incumbent GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher could be vulnerable to a challenge from his right flank.

In early 2016, former Assemblyman and  Orange County GOP Chair Scott Baugh began raising money for a future run in the event of Rohrabacher's retirement, initially with the incumbent's blessing. While he at one point indicated he would run in 2018 regardless of the Congressman's plans, mid-year reports show no significant fundraising activity in 2017, making a challenge unlikely.

Boyd Roberts, a realtor running on a promise to impeach President Trump, and Harley Rouda, a real estate entrepreneur with the ability to partially self-fund were the first to jump into the race. Rouda quickly assembled a professional campaign team and raised over $100,000 in independent contributions the first weeks of his campaign, with his first web ad against Rohrabacher going up in March 2017. Newport Beach Architect and business owner Laura Oatman joined the race in April, and airline pilot Tony Zarkades jumped in shortly afterwards. Dr. Hans Keirstead, a stem cell researcher and DCCC recruit, announced his candidacy in June, and attorney Omar Siddiqui and Nestle executive Michael Kotick did so the following month. Libertarian Brandon Reiser and Republican Stelian Onufrei have also filed.

Rohrabacher raised $222,629 in Q1, $286,084 in Q2, and had $406,616 remaining. Rouda raised $215,258 in Q1, but slumped to $104,078 in Q2. His $177,974 in reserves puts him just ahead of Keirstead, who raised $138,504 and ended with a $135,396 on hand despite entering the race with only 14 days remaining in Q2. Oatman raised $121,413 in Q2 and had $68,870 on hand. Reiser raised $6,900 and had $6,409. Neither Roberts nor Zarkades has filed a report, while Siddiqui, Onufrei, and Kotick entered the race after the second quarter.

SCOTT BAUGH (R) was first elected to AD67 in a November 1995 Recall Election that saw Asm. Doris Allen ousted following her decisive vote with the Assembly Democrats to install Willie Brown as Speaker, winning 45.3% of the vote. He was re-elected in 1996, defeating Cliff Brightman by a 56.3/38.1 margin, then again in 1998 by a 57.5/37.5 margin. At the time of his election, he had been an Attorney for Union Pacific Railroad and the President of the Huntington Beach Republican Assembly. Following his departure from the Assembly after reaching his term limit, he formed the law office of Scott Baugh & Associates, which he continues to operate. In 2004, he became Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party and held the position until he stepped down after over a decade in 2015.  He currently serves on the Pacifica College Board of Trustees. He holds a bachelor's in Business Administration from Liberty University and a JD from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. He resides in Huntington Beach.

STELIAN ONUFREI (R) is the General Partner with Diamond Construction & Design, a non-residential contracting company based in La Habra. Born in Romania, he escaped communist rule at the age of 19, spending his first months in the United States homeless as he worked multiple jobs. After gaining work experience in the construction industry, he launched a solar installation business, later moving into residential construction before tackling larger commercial and government projects. An Orange County resident for over 25 years, he resides in Huntington Beach with his wife, Marcela, and son Stelian Jr. 

HARLEY E. ROUDA, JR (D) has served as the CEO of Trident Holdings, an independently-owned real estate brokerage and investment firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, since Feburary 2002. He also served as a managing partner of Real Living, the largest residential real estate firm in the Midwest and the fourth-largest in the nation. Rouda's father, Harley Rouda, Sr., was a former president of the National Association of Realtors. Prior to entering the real estate industry, Rouda was an attorney with the national law firm of Porter, Wright, Morris and Arthur, specializing in capital information, securities work, and intellectual property. He holds a bachelors from University of Kentucky, an MBA from Ohio State University's Max Fisher College of Business, and a JD from Capital University Law School. He and his wife, author Kaira Rouda, reside in the Emerald Bay neighborhood of Laguna Beach. They have four grown children. Campaign Consultants: Dave Jacobson, Mac Zilber (Jacobson & Zilber)

Ads:  Clean House in Washington • 2 Plans

BOYD ROBERTS (D) is a licensed realtor with Laguna Gallery Real Estate. A graduate of Apple Valley Senior High and a former resident of Riverside County, he ran in 2012 for a seat on the Hemet USD Governing Board, finishing 5th in a field of 5 candidates with 10.53% of the vote. Two years later, he initiated a run for CD42 vs GOP incumbent Ken Calvert, but withdrew before the filing deadline. From 2015-2016, he served on the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee for the 67th Assembly District. He holds a bachelor's in Economics from CSU-San Bernardino and resides in Laguna Beach. Roberts is campaigning on a promise to impeach Donald Trump.

LAURA OATMAN (D) and her husband, Homer, are the principals at Oatman Architects, a Newport Beach firm providing full-service architectural design for hospitality and custom residential design with a focus on sustainable 'green' design. The author of Whole Earth Diet, she is the owner of Whole Earth Wellness, She holds a bachelor's in Social Studies from UC-Irvine, a masters in Architecture from UCLA, and additional education certificates from Cornell University, the California College of Ayurveda, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She and her husband reside in Newport Beach.

TONY ZARKADES (D) (b. 10/14/65) is an airline pilot and former Marine. Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, he graduated from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and entered the Marine Corps after college. He became a Naval Aviator in 1989, and was promoted to Captain in 1992. After serving several years as a Navy flight instructor, he worked in a factory, as a commercial property manager, and owned a small ice cream shop. In 1999, he moved his family to Orange County. He and his wife, Jennifer, who teaches 6th grade in Garden Grove, have two young children and reside in Huntington Beach.

HANS KEIRSTEAD (D) is CEO at AIVITA Biomedical. An internationally known stem cell expert, he previously served as Chief Science Officer and Sr. VP of Caladrius Biosciences. In 2006, Keirstead founded California Stem Cell, serving as its CEO until the company was acquired by cell therapy developer NeoStem in 2014 in a $124 million deal. A Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UC-Irvine for 15 years, he led a team of researchers to successfully develop a human embryonic stem cell derived treatment for paralyzed rats that received wide coverage after being featured in a 2006 segment on 60 Minutes. Born in Canada, he holds a bachelor's in Cell Biology and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of British Columbia, and did four years of additional Post Doctoral work at University of Cambridge. He serves on the advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation and has served as an advisor to several governments on biomedical policy. Campaign Manager: Kyle Quinn-Quesada

OMAR SIDDIQUI (D) is a civil, computer, and environmental engineer and founding partner of the Ulwelling Siddiqui LLP law firm, a firm focusing on a broad range of subjects, including corporate law, criminal defense, entertainment, cyber law, and science & technology. He began his career as a civil engineer for SID Geotechnical from 1992 to 1997 before moving into law. While earning his law degree, he served as a law clerk in the Orange County Superior Court system and as a judicial law clerk for the Central District of California US District Court. After earning his law degree, he joined the firm of Morris Polich & Purdy, serving from 2000 until co-founding his current practice in 2004. He currently serves as Director of Special Projects of the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association and as an advisor to the Central Intelligence Agency. Born to an immigrant father from Pakistan, he grew up in Orange County studying engineering at Fullerton College and UC-Irvine before earning his bachelor's and masters in Engineering from USC. He later earned his JD from Loyola Marymount University.

MICHAEL KOTICK(D), 33, has been with Nestle since 2009, serving as a Senior Manager from 2009 to 2013 and as Brand Director from 2013 to the present. He previously served as a Marketing and Partnerships Manager for KMG, Inc. and as a licensed commercial real estate agent at Marcus & Millichap. He holds a bachelor's in Economics and an MBA from Michigan State University, and a masters in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He resides in Laguna Beach.

BRANDON REISER (Lib) is a Business Operations Manager and former Senior Analyst with with the Capital Group investment firm in Irvine. He previously served as Director of Online Marketing for the Earthbound Media Group. Born and raised in Massachusetts, he holds a bachelor's in Marketing from Bentley University and resides in Corona del Mar.

CAMPAIGN 2016: This is a safe Republican district. Two Democrats who previously challenged incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher did so again this year.  Rohrabacher raised $724,000 ahead of the primary and was the top vote-getter with 56.57%. Sue Savary, a retired business educator who reported raising $54,000, took the number two spot with 28.89%. Robert Banuelos, a congressional staffer for Loretta Sanchez, reported raising no money and finished with 14.55%. Savary spent six figures in a modest effort in 2014, but finished with just 36%. She raised six figures in 2016 and improved her performance to 41.68%, but Rohrabacher still cruised to an easy 58.32% win. Final turnout in the primary was 50.22%, while 75.63% of the district's registered voters cast a ballot for this race in November.


*Former Assemblyman and OC GOP Chair Scott Baugh began raising money for a future run in the event of Rohrabacher's retirement. (see above). 

2016 Primary Ballot

Dana Rohrabacher (R-Inc) U.S. Representative, 48th District
Robert Banuelos (D) Congressional Case Worker
Sue Savary (D) Retired Business Educator


SUE SAVARY (D) was Rohrabacher's 2014 opponent in the general election, a race she lost in a 64.1%/35.9% contest.  (See Below) 

ROBERT BANUELOS (D), a staffer for Loretta Sanchez, ran for this seat in 2014, finishing 5th out of 5 in the June primary with 6% of the vote.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS: Rohrabacher • Banuelos • Savary

Rohrabacher has filed criminal charges against his former campaign treasurer, Jack Wu, who stands accused of embezzling more than $170,000 in campaign funds ... more

CAMPAIGN 2014: Five candidates ran in the June Top Two Primary. Rohrabacher was the top vote getter, receiving 56% of the vote. Democrat Suzanne Joyce Savary came in a distant second with 19%.
The others candidates were Republican Wendy Brooks Leece (12%), a member of the Costa Mesa City Council; Democrats David Burns (7%), an attorney from Costa Mesa; and Robert J. Banuelos (6%), a staffer with Rep. Loretta Sanchez.
Savary, a former Navy WAVE and retired Associate Professor at USC, made a moderate effort, raising and spending about $110,000. But this is a safe Republican district and Rohrabacher was reelected by a wide margin.


CAMPAIGN 2012: Two candidates challenged Rohrabacher in the June Top Two Primary: Alan Schlar, a former Democrat turned Republican turned No Party Preference; and Democrat Ron Varasteh, an Irvine small business owner and political activist for liberal causes.

Varasteh outpolled Schlar 29% - 5% to face Rohrabacher in the November runoff. Rohrabacher cruised to an easy reelection victory.

INCUMBENT’S ELECTION HISTORY: The 2001 redistricting mapmakers drew a two-county coastal district that was very similar to the one Rohrabacher was elected to in 1988, succeeding Dan Lungren.

In 2002, Rohrabacher faced Long Beach attorney Gerrie Schipske. Schipske, who spent $220,000, received 35% of the vote.


In 2004, former Congressman Bob Dornan, who had represented a neighboring Orange County congressional district until he was defeated by Democrat Loretta Sanchez in 1996, challenged Rohrabacher in the March GOP primary.  Rohrabacher and Dornan had been feuding for many years (starting when Rohrabacher would not endorse Dornan in the 1998 GOP primary). Rohrabacher, spending $341,700 in the primary, received the full support of the GOP hierarchy, including an in-district fundraiser featuring then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Rohrabacher won, 84% - 16%.


In the November 2004 General Election, Rohrabacher received little more than moderate opposition from Democrat Jim Brandt, a former Marine aviator and a vice chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.


Brandt ran against Rohrabacher again in 2006, spending about $80,000. Rohrabacher was easily reelected with 60% of the vote.


On the Democratic side in 2008 was Debbie Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach and a longtime community activist. Cook was able to put together a strong district-wide grassroots effort and raised just under $500,000. Rohrabacher raised and spent $740,000. His showing on Election Day (53% - 43%) was his lowest percentage since his election to Congress, attributable in part to the good showing that year by Barack Obama, who won 48% of the district vote.


In 2010, Rohrabacher, who received no more than token opposition from Democratic activist Ken Arnold, won with 62% of the vote.

DISTRICT PROFILE: This is a solid GOP district along most of Orange County’s coastline.  It includes Huntington Beach, self-described ‘Surf City USA’, affluent Newport Beach and Corona Del Mar, and the art colony of Laguna Beach.  A slice of Santa Ana included in the district and Laguna Beach are the only places where Democrats outnumber Republicans. 

Although Democrats are far outnumbered in the district as a whole, they tend to have more strength in its northern portion, in the older suburbs of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Costa Mesa.  The southern half of the district is more affluent, newer and, more importantly, farther from Democratic Los Angeles County and thus is correspondingly more Republican.  




Updates to District Races (1/27)

With the signatures in lieu of filing fees period now open, the California Target Book has been closely monitoring the daily updates coming from those counties reporting their candidate lists. At the present time, the following districts have been updated with accompanying candidate profiles.


CD20 - Added 2014 candidate Ronald Paul Kabat (NPP), 2010 candidate Joshua Thomas Coulston Miller (Rep), and 2010 candidate Steve Haze (D)
CD24 - Added AD35 candidate Dawn Ortiz-Legg (D) **SEE BELOW
CD44 - Added political unknown Michael De Mauricio (NPP)


NEVADA District 1 - Added Nevada City Councilman Duane Strawser
SANTA BARBARA District 4 - Added Santa Barbara Social Worker Eduardo Ozeta


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Tags: CD20, CD24, CD44, Nevada, Santa Barbara

Updates to District Races (1/22)

With the signatures in lieu of filing fees period now open, the California Target Book has been closely monitoring the daily updates coming from those counties reporting their candidate lists. At the present time, the following districts have been updated with accompanying candidate profiles.


AD05 - Added Greenwood resident Kai Ellsworth (D)
AD18 - Added former Alameda GOP Chair Roseann Slonsky-Breault
AD27 - Added former Santa Clara County Democratic Party Central Committee member David Parker (D)
AD55 - Added 3-time candidate Gregg Fritchle (D)
AD58 - Added Evangelist Ramiro Alvarado (R)


CD24 - Added Nipomo businessman Tyler Gross (R), insurance agent Jeff Oshins (D), biotech statistician John Uebersax (NPP), and political unknown Benjamin Lucas (D)
CD44 - Added teacher/2015 Hawthorne Mayor candidate Analilia Joya


SACRAMENTO District 4 - Added military veteran Gary Lee Burns
SAN BENITO District 1 - Added 2014 AD30/2012 Candidate Mark Starritt and political unknown Mark Medina
TEHAMA District 1 - Added political unknown Richard J. Lawrence

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Tags: AD05, AD18, AD27, AD55, AD58, CD24, CD44, Sacramento, San Benito, Tehama

CD24 (Open Seat) - 3rd GOP Candidate Files

Perennial candidate Matt Kokkonen has joined the race to succeed Rep. Lois Capps, who is retiring from her 24th Congressional District seat in 2016. Kokkonen ran for the assembly seat representing San Luis Obispo in 2004 and 2010 (see AD35), for Congress in 2008, and for Treasurer/Tax Collector of San Luis Obispo County in 2006. A financial planner and the principal of Matt Kokkonen Insurance and Financial Services since 1969, he has served as a guest lecturer at California Polytechnic-San Luis Obispo, as President of the Professional Finanical Services Socieites, and as an elected member of the San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County Republican Central Committees. He holds a bachelor's in Philosophy from Westmont College and two masters degrees in Financial Planning and Management from American College. Born in Helsinki, Finland, he immigrated to America on his own in 1962 at the age of 16. He resides in San Luis Obispo with his wife, Jean. They have two grown children. Kokkonen faces fellow Republicans Asm. Katcho Achadjian, his 2010 opponent in the GOP primary for AD33 (now AD35), and Justin Fareed, who ran for this seat in 2014 and finished 3rd in the Top Two primary. Both Fareed and Achadjian are listed as 'On The Radar' candidates for the GOP Young Guns list of competitive races, and Fareed has so far exhibited a fairly robust fundraising operation, raising $432K for this cycle at the end of the September 30th filing period. On the Democratic side, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal has dominated in fundraising with over $1M raised so far, eclipsing the $370K raised by Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and the $18K raised by cattle farmer Bill Ostrander. This district has a far more pronounced Democratic bias during Presidential election years, but it is not a completely safe seat. For more on this district, click here.

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Tags: CD24, Matt Kokkonen


CD24 (Open Seat) - Francisco Denies Seeking '16 Run, Blames Clerical Error

Santa Barbara Councilman DALE FRANCISCO (R) has rebuffed earlier reports that he would seek the open congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Lois Capps, who is retiring. The Santa Barbara County Republican Party chairman stated that the paperwork submitted to the FEC was intended to be an amendment to the paperwork filed by his earlier 2014 committee, and not a new 2016 committee. While he terms it 'unlikely' he will mount a 2016 campaign, he intends to keep the committee active, allowing that '"there's always the potential of needing to run." For more information on this race, click here.

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Tags: CD24, Dale Francisco

CD24 (Open Seat) - 3rd Republican Joins Race

Santa Barbara Councilman DALE FRANCISCO (R), who previously ran for this seat in 2014 and finished 4th in the June Primary with 11.7% of the vote, has filed with the FEC to make another attempt in 2016. First elected to the Santa Barbara City Council in 2007, he won re-election in 2011. In 2009, he made an unsuccessful run for mayor, finishing 2nd behind Helene Schneider, who is also running for CD24 in 2016. Prior to his election, he worked as a software engineer for a number of networking companies. He holds bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and English from UC-Santa Barbara. He resides in Santa Barbara. He joins fellow Republicans Katcho Achadjian and Justin Fareed, along with Democrats Salud CarbajalHelene Schneider, and Bill Ostrander. For more information on this race, click here.

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Tags: CD24, Dale Francisco, Helene Schneider

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