Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is headed to Orange County this weekend.
“This high turnout must continue for Democrats to keep control of Congress and to win state races around the country – where choice, climate, and justice are on the ballot,” said a release teasing the event.
Ocasio-Cortez is the second high-profile Democrat to visit Irvine, where Democratic Rep. Katie Porter is up for re-election, in as many weeks. President Joe Biden visited Irvine Valley College last week where he touted his administration’s efforts to combat inflation and cut down on rising drug costs – while also praising Porter’s work in Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez’s visit is a “continuation of what we’ve seen … and what we’ve been building up” in Orange County, said Ada Briceño, chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County.
“We now see statewide elected officials stop by, like (Attorney General) Rob Bonta and (Gov.) Gavin Newsom, and the president,” Briceño said. “It’s a continuation of people understanding Orange County is so crucial for the nation.”
Matthew Beckmann, a UCI political science professor, said Biden and Ocasio-Cortez “have a star power that will shine a light on local Democrats and put a little wind into the turnout sails.”
“The stereotype of Orange County as a conservative bastion has been overplayed for many years now. Now, though, everyone knows we are home to several ‘swing’ districts,” Beckmann said. “Whereas politics have long dropped into Orange County for fundraising, they now also take the time to help buoy fellow partisans in competitive areas.”
Aside from Ocasio-Cortez, those scheduled to speak are: Tommy Vietor, co-founder of Crooked Media and host of Pod Save America; Costa Mesa Councilwoman Arlis Reynolds; UCI professor Kathleen Treseder; and Iris “Nini” Wu of the Orange County Young Democrats.
“High voter turnout is a sign of a healthy community, so I’m all in for events that bring awareness and interest in local elections – especially among our young adults who will live with the impacts of our decisions longer than the rest of us,” Reynolds said.
Porter faces Republican Scott Baugh in the CA-47 race this fall. The Cook Political Report has ranked the race as “lean Democrat.”
There are more than 1.8 million active voters registered in Orange County, according to the latest data from the Registrar of Voters. About 682,000 are registered Democrats, 602,000 are registered Republicans, and nearly 427,000 have no party preference.
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