A Republican Congressman known for his explicit support for Russian President Vladimir Putin lost for a short time his Orange County, California, seat after 15 terms, a defeat that helped the Democrats to further consolidate the majority of their House.
Democrat Harley Rouda, a real estate executive, beat Dana Rohrabacher in one of the state's most attentive congressional tenders, the Associated Press projected on Saturday. Rohrabacher's strong identification with President Trump and his impassive support for Russia made him mature for a challenge in a wealthy district that went to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Rouda obtained 109,591 votes compared to 101,081 Rohrabacher votes, with 52% of the votes at 48% of the Republicans, according to the AP.
The Democrats won the majority of the House on Tuesday and since then have taken other seats, as the ballots have been counted in a dozen unresolved tenders.
Rohrabacher's warmth towards Russia has raised eyebrows over the years and has become a focal point in the race. Called "the favorite deputy of Putin", the long-standing Republican parliamentarian has stated that Putin beat him in a fight game between two drunken men in the early years & # 90; to decide who won the Cold War.
The FBI warned Rohrabacher in 2012 that Russian spies were actively trying to recruit him. In 2015, Rohrabacher met a woman in Russia who was later accused in the United States of espionage in Moscow, an accusation that the legislator called "fake".
And he expressed doubts about the consent of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections.
In June 2016, the leader of the majority of the House, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Said that "there are two people that I think pay Putin: Rohrabacher and Trump".
Rohrabacher has also made a series of controversial comments over the years. In May, he said that it is acceptable for people to refuse to sell their homes to homosexuals and lesbians if they "do not agree with their lifestyle". The observation prompted the National Associated of Realtors to withdraw his support for his campaign.