House Republicans open California office to defend majority

House Republicans open California office to defend majority

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has opened an office in California as House Republicans seek to protect incumbents in the Golden State.

The 10,000-square-foot office is located in Irvine, Calif., a city in Orange County — the site of a number of competitive races. The lease runs until 2020, which indicates that the NRCC hopes to be involved in state races during both the 2018 midterm elections and the next election cycle, in 2020.

Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversGOP lawmakers say Steve King’s loss could help them in November Longtime GOP Rep. Steve King defeated in Iowa primary Five things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries MORE (R-Ohio), chairman of the NRCC, visited the California office on Tuesday for the opening, where he was joined by 50 volunteers. Nat Serslev, the former district director for Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), will run the West Coast office.

ADVERTISEMENT“This move allows us to harness and grow what’s already a strong base of support in Southern California,” Stivers said in a statement.

“Our long term physical presence in the area signifies how important our California members are to our conference. We believe this will help supplement their strong campaigns in 2018 and beyond.”

Republicans are defending seven California districts that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE carried in 2016, suggesting that the Republicans who represents those districts are vulnerable.

Of those Clinton districts, the members based in Orange County include Walters and GOP Reps. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherDemocrat Harley Rouda advances in California House primary Lawyers to seek asylum for Assange in France: report Rohrabacher tells Yahoo he discussed pardon with Assange for proof Russia didn’t hack DNC email MORE and Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceGil Cisneros to face Young Kim in rematch of 2018 House race in California The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia MORE, who is retiring after this Congress. Still, those incumbents all easily won reelection in 2016.

Other targeted races where Clinton also won include seats held by GOP Reps. David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoDemocratic Rep. Cox advances in California primary The 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE, Steve Knight, Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamBottom line Bottom line Lobbying world MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaGOP sues California over Newsom’s vote-by-mail order Conservative group files challenge to California vote-by-mail order New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE, who is also retiring.

Democrats need to flip about two dozen seats to take back the House, and they’ve been specifically targeting those seven California seats. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opened a West Coast office last year, which is also based in Irvine.

“This purely defensive move is an indication that national Republicans are slowly realizing that their incumbents in California are in deep trouble—which Democrats have known, and invested in, for over a year,” Drew Godinich, the DCCC’s West Coast spokesman, said.

“Strong Democratic challengers combined with grassroots energy in Southern California pose a real threat to Republicans’ control of Washington in 2018 and the GOP is scrambling.”

The NRCC isn’t the only Republican group that will have presence in California this cycle.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House GOP leadership, has opened field offices across the country, with five of those based in California. They include offices in districts represented by Walters, Royce, Valadao, Knight and Denham.

Updated at 4:00 p.m.

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