Rep. Mike Levin holds on to coastal Southern California district

Democratic Rep. Mike Levin has won re-election in a coastal congressional district spanning Orange and San Diego counties.

Levin beat Brian Maryott, a Republican businessman and former mayor of San Juan Capistrano, in a rematch of the 2020 contest. The Associated Press named the race Wednesday, though official results will be longer.

The contest seemed so close that President Biden fought Levin just days before the election — a sign of Democrats’ concerns about retaining the seat while they battled for control of the House of Representatives. Republicans took control of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The 49th congressional district stretches from Laguna Beach to Del Mar and includes Camp Pendleton and a mothballed nuclear power plant. It’s one of several blue-state districts that overwhelmingly supported Biden in 2020 and have been targeted by Republicans in the midterm elections. The GOP had hoped Biden’s low approval ratings and the country’s economic distress would give its candidates a boost.

Democrats have a slim 3.1 percentage point lead in voter registration in the commuter-heavy district.

Levin, who worked as an environmental advocate before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, has pushed a bold clean energy agenda, supported zero-emission vehicles and banned new drilling off the California coast.

But he has also prioritized issues of particular concern to district voters, including improving services for veterans and cleaning up the radioactive waste buried at the closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

And he cited recent administrative wins, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, which protects Medicare beneficiaries from high drug prices and caps a $35 monthly supply of insulin.

Although Maryott supported traditional Republican goals such as deleveraging, making the country energy independent and cutting what he described as onerous regulations on businesses, in times of rising inflation his primary focus was on purse issues.

He was also representative of the type of Republicans who typically thrived in coastal Southern California. He rejects new drilling off the California coast and acknowledges climate change. Rep. Mike Levin holds on to coastal Southern California district

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