Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) easily won reelection on Tuesday night, beating Republican Greg Raths in California’s 45th Congressional District.
The freshman congresswoman’s victory is one of few bright spots for progressive candidates in what was otherwise a disappointing night for House Democrats, who were hoping to flip as many as 15 GOP seats and expand their majority. Instead, Republicans scored big and knocked off several Democratic incumbents.
The California district was considered a safe Republican seat in what was historically the conservative bastion of Orange County until Porter, a former professor and protege of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), flipped it in 2018.
During her time in Congress, Porter has stood out as an effective questioner of Wall Street executives and Trump administration officials. Unlike some other Democratic candidates, she embraced progressive policies in her bid for a second term, including “Medicare for All,” reproductive rights and gun control.
The congresswoman has been mentioned as a possible Senate candidate ― she has previously expressed interest in serving in the upper chamber.
As of late Wednesday morning, Porter led Raths comfortably by nearly 10 percentage points with 84% of precincts reporting.
Other progressive House candidates in traditionally red districts fared worse on Tuesday. Kara Eastman in Nebraska, Julie Oliver in Texas, J.D. Scholten in Iowa, and Mike Siegel in Texas all lost their bids for Congress.
Progressives did notch several key policy victories, however. Floridians voted to pass a $15 minimum wage, becoming the eighth state to do so. Coloradans voted down an extreme anti-abortion ballot measure that would ban abortion after 22 weeks. Five more states also legalized medical or recreational marijuana. Oregon, meanwhile, became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs.