An Orange County with Two Democratic Congress Members?

Beth Krom.JPGMake room, Loretta Sanchez?

TheLiberalOC.com reported today that serious efforts are underway to elect not just Orange County's second Democrat to Congress but also its second female Democrat. 

Dan Chmielewski, who runs the influential progressive blog and has undeniable insider Democratic Party connections, wrote that Irvine City Council member Beth Krom (pictured during a KUCI appearance) is "putting the pieces together" to seek the 48th Congressional District seat occupied by Republican John Campbell.

Chmielewski opines that Krom, a former mayor in Larry Agran's political machine, "has a lot going" her way: she's a moderate, can raise substantial amounts of money and has a long list of accomplishments. He also says that high-level party activists support Krom. 

In another Sunday posting, Joe Shaw at OC Progressive hailed Krom as an "excellent candidate" and noted what calls her environmental and transportation accomplishments.

It's going to be an uphill fight though even if President Barack Obama's agenda succeeds in the next two years. In the past, I've observed Krom to be politically tone deaf and too often willing to cover for the less attractive, secretive elements of Agran's ham-fisted city hall operation. Then again, I haven't closely watched Irvine politics in a few years. Perhaps, my observations are outdated. 

But there's also this: the 48th has been a safe seat for Republicans for eons. Campbell, and before him, Christopher Cox, have romped over challengers in a district that includes Newport Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach. In November's 2006 rematch, Campbell defeated Steve Young by 15 percent, 55.6% to 40.7%. If there's any good Democratic news in that outcome, it's that Young's two consecutive attempts increased progressive turnout by eight points.

(Trivia tidbit: Young, a trial lawyer, earned almost 20,000 more votes in losing his district than Dana Rohrabacher, a Vietnam War dodger, got in re-winning his Huntington Beach/Long Beach seat. Young got nearly 126,000 votes while Rohrabacher took more than 106,000. The OC really isn't Reagan Country nowadays . . .) 

Chmielewski wrote that he expects a formal announcement from Krom "shortly."

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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