Elizabeth Warren-Backed Candidate Looks To Unseat GOP Congresswoman In California

Law professor Katie Porter is hoping conservative Orange County will go blue.

A consumer advocate backed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will challenge a Republican congresswoman in next year’s election.

Katie Porter, an attorney who teaches consumer law at the University of California, Irvine and is the author of several studies on the subprime loan crisis, announced Monday she will run against Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) in 2018.

“As a consumer advocate, I’ve spent my career fighting Wall Street banks who cheat consumers and families,” Porter said in a statement announcing her candidacy. “Now, I’m running for Congress to take that fight to Washington. I’ll take on Donald Trump and the powerful Washington special interests who control Congress.”

Walters represents a portion of Orange County, one of the GOP’s strongholds in largely blue California. Democratic operatives have eyed the area as ripe for House seat pick-ups since the region sided with Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — the first time the county voted for a Democratic candidate since 1936 ― and are looking to attract voters who are displeased with President Donald Trump and lawmakers who back his legislative priorities.

Porter’s team has already employed that strategy, pointing to a FiveThirtyEight analysis showing Walters voting in line with Trump’s agenda 100 percent of the time.

Katie Porter has a high-profile endorser in Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Katie Porter has a high-profile endorser in Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Porter’s campaign is also emphasizing her support from Warren and Harris, two progressive favorites and outspoken critics of the president. 

Warren, who was Porter’s professor at Harvard Law School, described the attorney as a “fighter.”

“She’s been in the trenches with me fighting for families for nearly two decades — and she’s gotten real results,” Warren said in a statement. “She’s fought relentlessly for important protections that safeguard consumers and force banks to give families a fair shake. There’s no one I trust more to take on Donald Trump and the entrenched special interests in Washington on behalf of working families.”

Harris also has longstanding ties with Porter: As California attorney general, Harris appointed Porter in 2012 to oversee the $25 billion mortgage settlement by Wall Street banks.  

“Katie has spent her career battling powerful Wall Street banks who take advantage of consumers and families,” Harris said in a statement. “She will be just as relentless in Congress fighting against the powerful Washington special interests on behalf of our families.”

Walters has served in the House since 2015. She was re-elected in November with 58.6 percent of the vote. 



2017 Scenes From Congress & Capitol Hill