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 (Oct '16): Dem: 30.01%; Rep: 41.42%; NPP: 23.88% - Total Voters - 405,170
    Permanent vote-by-mail voters 52%
    Ethnic voter registration: Latino 10%; Asian 13% (Vietnamese 8%)


P12: Dem 28.33%; Rep 44.80%; NPP 22.03%; TURNOUT: 27.51%; Total Registered: 435,913
G12: Dem 28.36%; Rep 43.95%; NPP 22.65%; TURNOUT: 67.78%; Total Registered: 454,209
P14: Dem 28.34%; Rep 44.15%; NPP 22.59%; TURNOUT: 26.05%; Total Registered: 377,728
G14: Dem 28.23%; Rep 43.87%; NPP 22.90%; TURNOUT: 47.64%; Total Registered: 380,408

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 this is a nominally safe Republican district, Hillary Clinton  carried this district by close to 2% in 2016, and the  DCCC has placed this district on their initial 2018 target list. 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. Rohrabacher took a sharper tone when Baugh indicated that he was likely to run in 2018 regardless of the Congressman's plans. The most recent 2016 year-end campaign statement showed that Baugh continued raising money and spending on campaign consultants after the election, and the $548,000 banked could create a headache for Rohrabacher in 2018. Two Democratic challengers have filed--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. 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.

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.

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

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.

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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