Katie Porter, a consumer advocate and protégé of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, announced Monday that she’s running for Congress in Orange County, a historically conservative region that is shaping up as a battleground for Democratic efforts to retake the House in 2018.
Porter, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, is taking on Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, whose 45th district swung to Hillary Clinton in the fall presidential race, along with three other targeted seats held by Reps. Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher and Darrell Issa.
In an interview, Porter repeatedly linked Walters to President Donald Trump, pointing to the incumbent’s loyal voting record with him on the Republican health care replacement and repeals to consumer and environmental protections. “She has a 100 percent track record of voting with Donald Trump and supporting his harmful agenda,” Porter said.
Porter believes her message – that the economy, laws and the people who make them put powerful interests ahead of working people – will resonate in Orange County. “I was one of the first people to sound the alarm about Wall Street abuses in the housing market,” Porter said.
“It was tough to get people to listen when I started that, but when the housing market crashed, everyone kind of took notice and realized the banks had been engaging in widespread fraud,” she added.
Among those to discover Porter was then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, who appointed her monitor of the multibillion-dollar mortgage settlement to “make the banks hold good on their promises (and) hold them accountable.” In a statement, Harris said Porter, who also has worked to bring down credit card fees, has spent her career battling powerful banks “who take advantage of consumers and families.”
“She will be just as relentless in Congress fighting against the powerful Washington special interests on behalf of our families,” said Harris, now a U.S. senator.
Porter, who lives in Irvine with her three children, grew close to the senator when Warren was her professor at Harvard Law School. In announcing her support, Warren said Porter’s been “in the trenches with me fighting for families for nearly two decades – and she’s gotten real results.”
“Katie is a fighter!” Warren said. “There’s no one I trust more to take on Donald Trump and the entrenched special interests in Washington on behalf of working families.”