Politics

Mimi Walters on Jungle Primaries and Orange County Stereotypes | The Candidate #CA45

Walters is running for Congress in California's 45th District. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

The candidate: Republican state Sen. Mimi Walters. The member: Retiring Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif. The race: Located in Orange County, Calif., the 45th District is a safe Republican seat. Walters is running against two announced Republican candidates: Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach and Col. Greg Raths. The candidate’s team: David Gilliard, Gilliard Blanning & Associates (lead consultant); Anne Dunsmore, Capital Campaigns (fundraising).

1. You come from arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Why leave Orange County behind for Washington, D.C.?

I feel very blessed to have grown up in Orange County, and I want to be able to help make sure that Orange County stays a great place to raise your kids.

2. Have you met with any of the female Republican members of Congress as you weighed running? Would you want to mentor other women in the Republican Party thinking of running for office?

I have talked to several of them on the telephone and we are meeting with the Women's Caucus, and they've all said to me that if I need any help please feel free to call them. I just think it's a great time for me to run. In fact, as a state senator in California, I've tried to mentor young women in California, Republican women, and have tried to help build a bench to get women to run and get into political office. I plan to do the same as a member of Congress.

3. How much will you need to raise for this race?

My goal is to raise a couple million dollars overall. It's a pretty big goal, but I am going to try my best. If a very wealthy person gets in the race, it's obviously going to cost more money. I don't plan to self-fund, I'm a very hard worker and I believe I can raise the money.

4. What do you think about California's top-two primary system?

We have been through one cycle, so we are still trying to figure it out. I preferred Republicans voting for Republicans in the primary, and Democrats voting for Democrats in the primary.

5. Is reality as strange as the fiction that's portrayed on television about Orange County?

I hate those Orange County shows! Perception is not reality in Orange County.

Correction: 12:58 p.m., Aug. 1

An earlier version of this post gave an incorrect title for John Moorlach. He is the Orange County supervisor.