For some reason, Mission Viejo Councilman Greg Raths has decided to run against incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters in the 45th Congressional District, which encompasses Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo. Both are Republicans.
In 2014, then-state Senator Walters crushed Raths 65.1% to 34.9%. Now that she’s the incumbent in a very Republican district with a warchest of close to $1 million, it’s hard to imagine the outcome will be any different – except perhaps a widening of the margin of defeat.
One outcome Raths will accomplish is forcing Walters to burn campaign cash promoting herself and hitting Raths. Here’s a new mailer doing the latter by exploiting Rath’s also politically inexplicable decision to boast of his relationship with Bill Clinton:
Raths’ windmill tilt against Walters has given heartburn to Republican leaders. Safe incumbents in wealthy GOP districts – like Walters in CD45 – are able to raise money to help Republican candidates in tough elections around the country. Every dollar Walters has to spend on Raths is a dollar denied to a GOP candidate in a marginal House district elsewhere. Given the unpredictable dynamics of the presidential election and its impact on down-ticket races, this reality magnifies the self-serving appearance of Raths’ congressional run.
And A Democrat Makes A Go Of It
Here’s something one doesn’t often see in CD45: a direct mail piece from a Democratic candidate. In this case, it is Dr, Max Gouron of Irvine, one of two Democrats running as sacrificial lambs (the other being businessman Ron Varasteh of Irvine):
The more Gouron mails, the better for Walters because it raises the likelihood of finding herself in a top-two November run-off with Democrat Gouron instead of Republican Raths. She wins either way – but the former is a less expensive way than the latter.