Democratic Rep. Mike Levin was leading Republican challenger Brian Maryott in the 49th Congressional District, according to Election Day tallies from both Orange County and San Diego County registrars of voters.
The district spans the southern tip of Orange County, down to the north part of San Diego County.
Levin, an environmental attorney, has consistently pushed for nuclear waste to be removed from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. According to his campaign website, Levin wants Medicare for all, reform how nuclear waste is stored and end family separations at the Mexican border.
Maryott, a San Juan Capistrano City Councilman and financial planner, wants to reform some social programs, is against government-run health care, end taxes on Social Security checks, protect businesses from coronavirus liabilities and push for more apprenticeship programs.
Chapman University political science professor Mike Moodian, a local elections expert, said he doesn’t expect it to be much of a race.
“I think that’s a relatively safe seat for Levin.,” Moodian said.
But Orange County GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker said Maryott’s been running an impressive campaign.
“Maryott’s running a great race … tremendous volunteer output out there,” Whitaker said in an Aug. 19 Voice of OC podcast. “I’m actually really optimistic about the 49th.”
California State University Fullerton professor Stephen Stambough said Maryott may run into trouble because of inconsistent messaging, along with other GOP Congressional candidates.
“I think that’s really the problem of the GOP in California to articulate what that message is,” he said. “They’re walking a really fine line with a bad national image and what it means to be Republican in Orange County again.”
Levin easily defeated Republican challenger Diane Harkey for his first term in 2018.