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CD-45: Walters vs. Raths – The Rematch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 6, 2016

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

2016 seems to be shaping up to be the year of the rematch.  Yesterday, I wrote about Assemblyman Don Wagner challenging Senator John Moorlach in the 2016 Primary Election for the 37th State Senate District after Moorlach prevailed over Wagner in the 2015 Special Election for that same seat.

On the same day that Wagner submitted his application for an OC GOP endorsement for the 37th Senate District (nearly a month after Moorlach submitted his application), Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo) pulled papers to challenge Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) in the 2016 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District after Walters prevailed over Raths in the 2014 Primary Election for that same seat.

(Ironically, it was the election of Walters to the 45th Congressional District that caused the 2015 Special Election for the 37th Senate District that sent Moorlach to the Senate.)

In the 2014 election, the four candidates were California State Senator Mimi Walters (R), Educator/Businessman Drew E. Leavens (D), Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths (R), and Buena Park Library District Trustee Al Salehi (NPP).

(Why Salehi ran for Congress in a district that does not include his city of residence of Buena Park, I’ll never understand.  I wrote extensively on Salehi’s perennial bid for offices in my post on his latest bid for office in the February 9 Special Election for North Orange County Community College District.)

Walters easily defeated Leavens, Raths, and Salehi:

Vote Count Percentage
MIMI WALTERS (R) 39,631 45.1%
DREW E. LEAVENS (D) 24,721 28.1%
GREG RATHS (R) 21,284 24.2%
AL SALEHI (NPP) 2,317 2.6%

In the 2014 election, Walters spent nearly $1,200,000 while Raths spent $267,000.  Leavens spent $2,150, yet Salehi didn’t even open a committee.

As of September 30, Walters had more than $616,000 cash-on-hand in her Congressional campaign account.  Raths has no cash on hand, as he had terminated his Congressional committee in May and has not started a new one.

After losing the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District, Raths successfully won a seat on the Mission Viejo City Council in the 2014 General Election.

Consequently, while the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District featured State Senator Walters vs. Retired Colonel Raths, the 2016 Primary Election has Congresswoman Walters vs. Councilman Raths.

In the 2012 Primary, then-Congressman John Campbell (R) still captured 51% of the vote against Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (D), who got 33%, and Small Business Owner John Webb (R), who got 16%. Campbell opted not to seek re-election in 2014, thereby creating the opening for Walters to run.  Kang termed out as Mayor of Irvine in 2012 and is now running against Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) for the 29th Senate District, which does not include any portion of the City of Irvine.

17 Responses to “CD-45: Walters vs. Raths – The Rematch”

  1. *Mimi has kept a low key in the Congress..with occasional shows of interest in various topics. We can find nothing that
    will take her out of re-election without problem. She has made the right friends and stays in her place, shows when the
    cameras role and smiles appropriately.

  2. Jor said

    Greg Raths is s disaster so far on the Mission Viejo council !!! What a joke !

  3. Tom Pollitt said

    Greg is a great American hero and a leader. We need both of these traits representing us in congress. As the country becomes more dangerous each day we need someone with his experience to get our country back on track. Besides Walters is part of the establishment and has a low rating for conservative groups.

    • Jie said

      You got to be kidding !!

    • J. Madison said

      “Low rating from conservative groups”? Uh, right. 92% from the American Conservative Union, 100% from pro-life groups, 100% from Nat’l Federation of Independent Businesses, “A” ranking fro the NRA, and on and on.

      Get real. There’s no ideological justification for Rath’s primary challenge. This is personal ambition combined with fringe Tea Party hair-splitting. Democrats LOVE this stuff because it ties down Republicans in safe seats and prevents them from raising more money for contested House seats elsewhere.

  4. The $64,000 question. Is this a trial balloon or is Greg running for real?

  5. Greg Raths said

    I am relatively new at politics, but let me get this right, if I want to represent my friends and neighbors as a U.S. Congressman, I must wait until Mimi decides to retire before I can run again in the CA-45th. That will take me to age 83 if she serves a 20 year career. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States….” What it doesn’t say is every 20+ years. I believe the framers of the Constitution had it right, every two years.

    • Greg misses the point .There are no term limits for members of congress which is an entirely new discussion. That said it is not easy to take out a sitting member of Congress .It has been done but not too often. These men and women are elected by the voters every two years for the House and every six years for the US Senate. We all know that.

      • Greg Raths said

        Larry I know the point. I am a historian and a political scientist. And I understand the 2 year and 6 year terms for Representatives and Senators. My point is that I am catching a lot of flak from the Republican Establishment for wanting to represent my neighbors in Washington, D.C. as a Congressman. I have already been called “slim” and a “rebel” from my own party. The point I was getting at is I was told that it is “protocol” to never run against a sitting Congressperson of your own party. Thus I would be in my mid 80s or early 90s before I could ever run again for CA-45th if I followed the Establishment’s rules of protocol.

      • *Grego, have you been watching the circus with Webster Guillory? OK, this is how it works…..The Party Smoke filled room runs all the appropriate candidates. If for example an incumbent is not doing or voting the way the smoke filled room guys want….they get challenged in the Primary. They dirty the incumbent up for playing spin the bottle in there own
        bedroom or some other nonsensical attack. Sometimes the attacks are true, but most electeds have to be dirty to stay getting elected. This is rightfully called “The Trump Leverage System”. Most Congresspeople can hang in for about 18 years or nine terms, with a few notable exceptions. However, when it was time for Bob Dornan to go……”they” took him out with Sanchez. Oh by the way, there are no political parties if you haven’t noticed. Power Groups have run things since Davey Crockett walked into the Road House and the newly
        dedicated state of Tennessee…..boys all yelled….”Yeah, we are a State! Let’s send Davey…he knows how to drink and still tell a good story!”. Now, let’s go off the track for just a brief moment. Davey Crockett was the sole vote against the Andrew Jackson re-location of the Cherokee Indians to Oklahoma. Additionally, Andy Jackson sent Davey Crockett (totally a rumour) to the Alamo to insure Texas Statehood. So, in quick answer to your question: Webster Gulliory said no “the powers that be” and they fried him in hot oil. Thank goodness he didn’t have to serve any jail time. We also knew that the fix was in when Bob Dornan was kicked off “the O’Reilly Factor” for being too moderate! That came AFTER Loretta had beaten him in the fixed election. Yeah, they do that too! And finally, heck 83 just isn’t as old as it used to be Greggy!

        • *Just one more thing…..Jim Traficant was probably one of the greatest American Congressmen in history. Jim was from one of the poorer areas of Ohio and intervened many times
          for his constituents and those across the nation with the various abuses that were occurring back in those days with the IRS. He had seen how Nixon, LBJ and others had abused targeted citizens that were causing problems. Jim was a Blue Dog Democrat, but a great one. They sent him to prison for having staff members help him move manure on his farm on a couple of week-ends, during a re-election campaign. What did dad say? “Life is not fair!”. The Power Brokers are going to make sure that “Equilibrium” will prevail. Which simply means….they still call every shot that will affect their back pockets. Our suggestion is: Run for office, no matter what and find out the realities for yourself, because you will never believe anyone else – anyway! You have over 50 major power groups in California that have input on and about YOU! Now try to go out and ask them for some money….or don’t! When that day does come and you get the phone call…….it is best to do the nodding doggie in the window impression and pretend you are talking to Vladimir Putin.

          • Greg Raths said

            My wife, Luci, and I recently became grandparents. While we are overjoyed about our beautiful granddaughters, we wonder what kind of country will they inherit. Before their third birthdays, Julia, Katelyn, and Sean will be mired in a debt of over $100,120.00 each, their share of a growing burden that current and past politicians have piled on future generations.
            This must stop. I am not part of the political status quo that caused our country’s problems. I am a conservative Republican leader who wants to be part of the solution.

            • *What do they say…you have to feel the calling. Our belief is that most people are actually born with it. You may or may not have been Student Body President, but secretly you may have wanted that attention and the ability to make decisions for others. The ideal state of compassion and willingness to sacrifice in a variety of ways for others. To listen to people you greatly disagree with, to go to the most boring events imaginable to be able to say three words which are printed in the local paper or repeated by your constituents. In many ways, elected politics is painful at least and unimaginably frustrating at the other end. Mom said it best: “I am surrounded by ingrates!” Many politicians start out wanting to do the right things and help as many folks as possible. When the reality strikes that there are many behind the scenes that can over ride or worse any decision you make….sometimes that gets to elected folks – they roll off the rails and fail prey to all the worst that quasi-temptation of mini-demagoguery offers. The fragile ego is shocked to find out that people actually listen to them. The fragile ego allows the bad folks, the pretenders and the sycophants to surround them. They basically get lazy and pander unconsciously sometimes to the powerful and the money folk. This condition is what most of us citizens get to view when the press reports on it, or our representative fails to respond to our phone call, written word or face to face concerns. There is little doubt, you get to go to a bunch a chicken dinners, chat it up constantly and from time to time actually get to offer your opinion on some major decision for our society. Believe it or not, active bloggers, activists and public speakers get to do the same things and don’t have to live in Sacramento or Washington D.C. However, if you feel so compelled to throw your hat into the arena…….watch out for all the charging bulls when you get in there to retrieve it! It also helps if you like the sound of your own voice!

              • “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” —John Adams, 1776 This was from the Daily Digest of the Patriot Post today! Maybe this will help in your decision.

    • Joe said

      Greg in Mission Viejo you wererejected for the mayor position. Get the hint you’re a loser!

  6. Jie said

    One thing strikes me about your dissertation and pictures -/Greg is persona-non -grata—in his own city– that is a given considering Greg’s duplicity.

    Raths typically comes to council meetings unprepared on the issues and the agenda, but does have a prepared whiny speech about people picking on him.

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