State Sen. Dave Min has thrown his name into the mix for a seat in Congress held currently by Rep. Katie Porter, which she’ll give up in 2024 to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Dianne Feinstein. 

Min, the only Korean American currently in the state legislature, will face at least two other candidates who have jumped in for the opening left by Porter’s Jan. 10 announcement on Twitter.

Though his Wednesday announcement comes with Porter’s endorsement.

“Dave has proven that he can win in this area while delivering on a progressive agenda with real results,” she said in a statement attached to Min’s news release campaign announcement. 

Porter, if elected to Feinstein’s seat, would be Orange County’s first U.S. Senator since former Anaheim Mayor John Seymour, who was appointed to a short term in the early 1990s when Pete Wilson became governor. 

Min, whose coastal 37th state senate district spans Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, beat longtime local GOP figure John Moorlach for the seat by more than 2% of the vote in 2020. 

Min’s camp, in the news release, points to the 47th Congressional District’s “robust” Korean American community, “one of the highest percentages of Asian and Pacific Islander voters in the country at 19%.”

“I began my career holding Wall Street accountable during the financial crisis and protecting families from foreclosure. In the State Senate, I have fought for bold and aggressive legislation to improve the lives of the constituents I represent, challenging politics as usual,” Min said in his campaign announcement.

As of now, his upcoming opponents include former Republican state Assemblyman and county GOP chair Scott Baugh, a Huntington Beach attorney who lost to Porter by more than 9,000 votes in a tight November midterm race for the seat.

“Voters are rightfully upset with the dysfunction in Washington and deserve better,” said Baugh in his Jan. 10 announcement for Porter’s House seat on Twitter. “I am ready to go to work to restore thoughtful, conservative representation to our part of Orange County.”

Another announced candidate is Harley Rouda, a former coastal congressional representative who famously unseated longtime Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in 2018, but lost to Michelle Steel in 2020.  

When the district Rouda represented joined with Porter’s area of representation after the recent redistricting cycle, Rouda decided not to run against Porter in 2022. 

“Orange County deserves leaders that put bipartisanship ahead of brinkmanship, and are focused on delivering results for the hardworking families of our state,” Rouda said in a Jan. 11 announcement on Twitter.

During his time in office, Min’s legislative efforts have compelled the state’s largest public transit agencies to study racist and discriminatory harassment toward riders, and banned the sale of firearms on state-owned properties, the latter of which brought him into public contention with board directors at the OC Fairgrounds.

“I’m proud of the record I’ve built on the environment, gun violence prevention, women’s reproductive rights, the economy, and fighting hate,” Min said. “And I look forward to making the case to voters why they should elect me to the House of Representatives.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Dave Min beat John Moorlach for the 37th state Senate District seat by more than 4% of the vote in 2020. We regret the error.

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