In one of the most predictable races in all of Orange County, three-term incumbent Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) sailed to victory in Tuesday’s 48th Congressional District primary race.
With 65.8 percent of the vote, Rohrabacher will face challenger Ron Varasteh (D) again in the November general election. Varasteh came in second with 29.3 percent of the vote. Alan Schlar (no party affiliation) came in third with 4.9 percent of the vote. A total of 72,826 voters cast their ballots in the Congressional race Tuesday.
Rohrabacher went into Tuesday’s primary with a war chest that completely dwarfed his opponent’s spending abilities. He has raised $326,780 toward his campaign. Most of the money, $294,155, comes from individual donors, while $32,625 comes from a political action committees, which includes Pacific Life Insurance and Schools First Credit Union.
According to the Federal Election Commission, Schlar and Varasteh haven’t raised any funds towards their individual campaigns. Although, in a phone interview with Patch, Schlar said his campaign was paid for out of his own pocket, "except for $240 which came from neighbors and friends."
Rohrabacher remained in Washington DC for Tuesday’s election, according to his staffers. He was first elected in 1988 and served the 46th district until redistricting in 2011 placed him in the 48th. He is now running to serve in that district, which encompasses Aliso Viejo, Seal Beach, Midway City, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, plus parts of Westminster, Santa Ana, Irvine, Laguna Woods and Laguna Hills.
According to his campaign website, Rohrabacher’s emphasis is on the nation’s poor economic condition, focusing on job growth, development and the empowerment of small businesses.
Varasteh says he shares Rohrabacher’s concern for the country’s economy.
Varasteh’s campaign website includes a list of 52 promises, some of which are:
- Eliminate income tax for everyone making $80,000 or less until the economy stabilizes; offset this revenue loss by imposing a marginal tax rate for those making more than $80,000
- Criminalize gas price gouging
- Legalize and tax marijuana