CNN: Republicans want to make Orange County red again

CNN: Republicans want to make Orange County red again

By Jeremy Herb, CNN

Article originally published on

San Juan Capistrano, California (CNN) After a 2018 Republican wipeout in Orange County, San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott is betting that his record as "a quiet leader" can help turn the GOP's congressional fortunes around in Southern California.

That was the message Maryott delivered to a group of three dozen Republicans at a hilly country club home on a recent Sunday afternoon, as he prepares to challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Mike Levin. Maryott didn't criticize President Donald Trump -- in fact, he and numerous attendees touted Trump's record -- but the mayor's message still drew a clear contrast with the Republican who will be at the top of the ticket in 2020.

"I'm a quiet leader in our city. I said there were some things I was going to do, I was going to take the temperature down in city politics," Maryott said. "Most people don't associate with me this big thing or that bad thing or anything else because I've been a quiet leader in the city, an effective leader. And that's what I want to do in Washington."

Maryott is one of the many Republican challengers looking to win back the seven seats in California that Democrats flipped in 2018 when they swept into the House majority. Nowhere was the Republican pain more acute than in Orange County, the longtime stronghold of Ronald Reagan Republicanism, where Republicans lost all four of the county's six districts they had held.

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