Democrat Harley Rouda emerged victorious on Saturday in his congressional race against 15-term incumbent and noted anti-LGBTQ Republican Dana Rohrabacher in California's Orange County, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Rouda, a 56-year-old real estate developer and a former Republican who left the party in the ’90s, earned Equality California’s endorsement for his pro-LGBTQ stance early in the campaign. He also emphasized Rohrabacher’s history of homophobia in his campaign ads.
Following Orange County's release of more than 24,000 votes that spanned three unresolved races for Congress, Rouda pulled ahead on Saturday with more than 8,500 additional votes in the 48th District, according to the L.A. Times.
While declaring victory, Rouda said he is “deeply humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve.”
Earlier this year, Rohrabacher, 71, who’s held on to his seat in Congress for 30 years in what has traditionally been a conservative district (although it went for Hillary Clinton in 2016), told a group of real estate professionals that he supported the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people in terms of housing. In doing so he lost the support of the National Association of Realtors.
“Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don’t agree with their lifestyle,” Rohrabacher told the group at the time.
Rohrabacher’s comments to the Realtors were further proof of the homophobia he’d been acting on in Congress for decades. His record includes voting in favor of defining marriage as between one man and one woman and supporting a constitutional ban on marriage equality. He has also voted in favor of banning same-sex couples from adopting, and against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, according to On the Issues.
Throughout the run-up to Tuesday's midterm election, Equality California billed Rouda as a “pro-equality champion fighting for California.”