California’s top-two primary system that allows members of the same party to advance into the general election may prove a major factor in Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s (R-Costa Mesa) Orange County coastal congressional district. Yesterday, former state Assemblyman and Orange County Republican Party chairman Scott Baugh (R) pulled nomination papers in order to qualify before today’s candidate filing deadline.
Mr. Baugh, previously with Rep. Rohrabacher’s permission, began raising money for the seat in anticipation of the Congressman’s eventual retirement. Hence, he has over $545,000 in a federal campaign account. Mr. Baugh’s presence in the race, assuming he completes the filing process, could set up a situation where both Rep. Rohrabacher and he qualify for the general election. With the Democratic field split among ten candidates, none of who have ever successfully run for office, the state’s primary system could conceivably deny the Democrats a potential target.
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