IRVINE — David Min, a Democrat and a professor at the UC Irvine School of Law, has announced that he is running against incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters in the 45th Congressional District.
Another Democrat from the same university and same department, Katherine Porter, also announced that she is challenging Walters.
The district is based in Orange County and includes the communities of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo. Walters, a former state senator, has represented the district since 2015.
Min has already been endorsed by former Irvine City Councilmember Mary Ann gaido and former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang.
“As you all know, I am not someone who has ever thought about running for elected office, but after the election of Donald Trump, Jane and I decided that we needed to step up and do everything we could to save our country and put America — and our community — back on the right track,” Min said in an open letter to his supporters.
“As the child of Korean immigrants, I want to be able to stand up and say that I did everything I could to fight for our core American values of diversity, opportunity, and social mobility — values which attracted my parents and so many millions of others like them to this country. As the father of three young kids, I want to be able to look them in the eye when they’re grown up and say that we did everything we could to protect and ensure their future/
“Unfortunately, our current congresswoman, Mimi Walters, has been a devoted and vocal rubber stamp for Donald Trump, voting with him 100% of the time. She has been an outspoken advocate of Trump’s most extreme proposals, including the elimination of Meals on Wheels, PBS, and legal assistance for victims of domestic violence. Walters has voted against common-sense protections for our environment, and was an early and loud supporter of ‘TrumpCare,’ the giveaway to the health insurance industry and lobbyists that would have cut 24 million Americans off of health care.
“She has remained conspicuously silent about Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ and also the wave of anti-Semitism that has swept the country, including a bomb threat here against our Irvine Jewish Community Center. And just recently, she voted with Trump to allow Internet service providers to sell your private browsing histories for a profit. Mimi Walters has consistently prioritized the interests of lobbyists and donors over those of her constituents.
“The good news is that Mimi Walters is vulnerable. Hillary Clinton won our district by 5.4%, and the voters of our district are animated. You all know me, and know my values and determination, and I promise to put everything I’ve got into running a smart, disciplined campaign to unseat Mimi Walters.”
Min is seeking to raise $100,000 by the end of April to get his campaign off the ground.
“This race will be one of the most closely watched — and highly contested — in the country,” Min said. “As The New York Times noted several weeks back, this district will be a key to taking back the House of Representatives and putting a check on Donald Trump … Together, we will take the first step towards taking our country back and building a better future.”
Min’s parents came to the U.S. in 1972 for graduate school and ended up settling in California to raise Min and his brother. Prior to becoming a UCI law professor, Min served as a lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission, a senior congressional advisor, and a policy director at the Center for American Progress.
“I’ve fought to protect hard-working Americans by making our economy and our markets operate better and more fairly for everyone,” he said.
Min met his wife Jane while attending Harvard Law School. They are colleagues at UCI Law, where she teaches family law and runs the school’s Domestic Violence Clinic. She is also the founder and director of UCI’s Initiative to End Family Violence.