Former Rep. Harley Rouda wants to go back to Congress.

The Laguna Beach Democrat launched a 2024 bid for California’s 47th congressional district on Wednesday, Jan. 11, just one day after Rep. Katie Porter said she is running for U.S. Senate.

Rouda pointed to the strong storms and flooding that have battered California in recent days, vowing to concentrate on the climate crisis if voters send him back to Congress. He says he is focused on the economy and the environment as he mounts this new quest to represent Orange County in Washington, D.C.

“Orange County deserves leaders that put bipartisanship ahead of brinkmanship and (are) focused on delivering results for the working families of our state,” Rouda, 61, said.

Rouda was first elected to represent part of Orange County, what was then the 48th district, in 2018, defeating longtime GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. But he lost his reelection bid in 2020 to Rep. Michelle Steel, a Republican.

He ended a 2022 congressional campaign after redistricting changed Orange County’s maps.

The coastal CA-47 includes Irvine, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and part of Huntington Beach.

It was earmarked this past cycle by national Republicans as a potential pickup for their party, but former GOP Assemblymember Scott Baugh ultimately lost to Porter. Baugh has already said he would run for the seat again in 2024.

Originally from Ohio, Rouda is a former Republican who donated to former Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 presidential election.

Rouda was a lawyer who eventually took over his family’s real estate business. In Congress, he chaired the Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment.

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