Democratic infighting roils California battleground seats that might decide US House control (Part-2)

About 10 California House districts are competitive, with a few toss-ups likely to determine party control. Rep. Pete Aguilar, the third-ranking House Democrat from Redlands, east of Los Angeles, predicts the final battle “will run through California.”

The state's lopsided politics are contrasted with contested districts. Democrats control every state office, the Legislature, and the congressional delegation and outnumber registered Republicans 2-1. Republican strongholds remain in Southern California's suburbs and extensive rural areas, including the Central Valley, known as America's salad bowl for its abundant agriculture.

The 47th District in Orange County was originally known as “Reagan Country” for its ties to Ronald Reagan. Like much of California, it became more diverse and Democratic. Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, who is running for Senate, supports Min.

Weiss' campaign and allies have highlighted Min's Sacramento drunken driving arrest last year. Emily's List, which supports Weiss, criticizes Min on its website for “breaking promises, breaking laws.” The group pledged $1 million for Weiss campaign advertising in January.

“Trust matters,” a Weiss ad states of the arrest. Min laments “the worst mistake of my life.” He received three years of probation after pleading no contest. Min's ad alleges Weiss, a lawyer, and her husband “made millions” defending Catholic priests found guilty of assaulting children, mirroring The Daily Beast's assertion that Weiss was using the money to fund her campaign.

Weiss senior campaign advisor Mike McLaughlin said, “Min has to resort to lying about Joanna and her family because he knows he’s lost the trust of Orange County voters.”

Her campaign claimed that her husband, lawyer Jason Weiss, had never defended a Catholic priest and that it received funding from a home equity line of credit. Republican Rep. David Valadao is seeking reelection in the Central Valley, a Democratic seat that Joe Biden carried by double digits in 2020.

Valadao may face former legislator Rudy Salas, a Democrat he beat in 2022, but Salas is challenging state senator Melissa Hurtado. Salas has national Democratic support, but a divided Democratic vote in a low-turnout contest could put Valadao on the November ballot with 2022 Republican Chris Mathys.

Salas has accused Hurtado of distorting abortion rights statistics. Rudy Salas lies about my reproductive freedom record as a woman. Hurtado stated, "He should be ashamed."

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