The Road to Mimi Walters Seat Goes Through Harvard and UCI Law: Min and Porter Announce for CD-45

David Min

Katie Porter


The field of exceptional Democrats to challenge Rep. Mimi Walters in CD-45 just got larger and better.  Two UCI Law Professors who are Harvard Law graduates have announced their running for Congress against Mimi — David Min and Katie Porter are running in what’s becoming a more crowded field.

Porter announced Monday and Min made it formal this morning, so we’ll start with Porter with a hat tip to the Register’s Martin Wisckol for two great profiles.

Porter is part of a growing wave of high-profile Democrats announcing challenges of Orange County Republican Congress members, all four of whom saw their districts favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump last year.

Porter, 43, has specialized in the abuses of home mortgage lenders and was appointed by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris to oversee California’s share of a $25 billion national mortgage settlement.

She has been endorsed by Harris and by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Porter studied with Warren at Harvard Law School and the two co-authored “The Law of Debtors and Creditors.”

Porter will attack Walters cozy support for President Trump and her strong support of the horrible Obamacare replacement that was the AHCA Bill that would cost more and deliver less.

From Martin’s story on Min:

Min, the 41-year-old son of Korean immigrants and a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, said his decision to run grew out of Donald Trump’s victory in November and his frustration with the new president.

“The straw that broke the camel’s back was the Muslim (travel) ban,” he told the Register on Tuesday. “You think about what brought my parents here — it was the core American values of tolerance, diversity, economic opportunity and social mobility. What Trump was doing with the Muslim ban was un-American. Who’s next on Donald Trump’s list?”

Like Porter, Min’s law degree is from Harvard. His undergraduate degree is in economics, from Wharton School, and he specializes in contracts, banking regulations and housing loans. And like Porter, he emphasizes that Walters has voted consistently with Trump so far and was an early supporter of Republicans’ abandoned repeal-and-replacement of Obamacare.

Min also complains that Walters hasn’t made a public statement regarding her view of the travel ban.

The Irvine resident emphasizes his experience developing and implementing policy, including three years with the left-leaning Center for American Progress advocacy think tank. His 2007-to-2009 stint with current Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was mostly spent as an aide to the Joint Economic Committee, of which Schumer was then chairman.

Porter and Min join Ron Varasteh, who ran and lost against Walters in 2016 after a failed challenge against Dana Rohrabacher in CD-48 in 2012.  Varasteh was unable to raise significant money for either race.  Varasteh touts that he got more votes for Congress than any Democrat in Orange County and that’s true, but his inability to raise money and a large voter disparity between Republicans and Democrats in the district didn’t help.  Varasteh backed Bernie Sanders in the primary but was unable to capitalize on Hillary Clinton’s edge in the district for the Congressional race.

In addition to Varasteh, Rob Schneiderman, a professor at  Orange Coast College and president of the Coast Federation of Educators, is seeking to challenge Walters for Congress.  Schneiderman’s calls his committee the “CA-45 Liberty and Integrity Committee.”  His CrowdPac effort to raise $5,000 for FEC filings which began about a month ago is stalled at $3,306.

Porter and Min certainly have appealing progressive credentials between them.  It’s going to come down to who can raise money and who can excite voters.