There are 6% more Republicans registered in Orange County than Democrats as Republicans race to win back the 48th Congressional District.

Michelle Steel, who is running for the 48th Congressional District seat in OC says if Republicans want to win back the 48th Congressional District, it’s now or never. Her opponent, Harley Rouda, says it will be a tough race.

“All of the Republicans aren’t radical right like Michelle Steel. They don’t believe in offshore drilling, they want to save the environment for their kids and grandkids and because of my moderation they will support me in this election, we believe,” Rouda said.

The self-proclaimed moderate, flipped the seat in 2018 after it had been a Republican stronghold for 30 years.

The freshman congressman says his two years in office led to changes in robocalls, the opioid crisis and stopping tax dollars from going to Chinese companies.

Most people running for office have slick TV ads while others let their records do the talking.

Steel says there are glaring differences between herself and Rouda.

“I have a proven record, and he doesn’t and you know what he said, that he would not raise taxes. He’d be moderate and would end up voting for all the tax increases,” Steel expressed.

Both candidates said they are working hard to convince a largely ignored voting block like Little Saigon in Garden Grove.

“We worked hard to reach out to small businesses, to those looking for stronger health care, better education and I think because of that — that’s why we carried Little Saigon and the Vietnamese in 2018 and I believe we will in 2020,” Rouda stated.

Both candidates are airing campaign ads in Vietnamese.

“About 10% of voters are Vietnamese, and they are very important. I think they are the ones going to have the deciding votes,” Steel said.

The Korean immigrant is now chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She says she does not always align herself with the Republican president.

The congressman knows this election will create historical voter turnout, which he hopes translates into a second term for him.

“I’m a moderate, and she’s a radical right. I’ve proven I can reach across the aisle and get things done,” Rouda stated.

“What’s the radical right wing? I’m a mother of two and a wife and I just carry out my common sense,” Steel responded.

Michelle Steel says if a Republican does not get this seat back after this first term, it will likely remain Democrat into the future. Congressman Harley Rouda says that’s exactly what he’s banking on.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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