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Tipsheet

Why This California Lawmaker's DUI Arrest Could Affect Democrats' Chances of Reclaiming House

AP Photo/Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau

A California Democrat who is running for Congress was arrested Tuesday night for driving under the influence.  

State Sen. Dave Min was pulled over near the state Capitol after driving a government car through a red light without headlights on. 

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In a statement, the Democratic lawmaker confirmed his arrest and apologized.

“Last night I was cited for a misdemeanor for driving under the influence," he said. "My decision to drive last night was irresponsible. I accept full responsibility and there is no excuse for my actions. To my family, constituents and supporters, I am so deeply sorry. I know I need to do better. I will not let this personal failure distract from our work in California and in Washington.”

Min is running for the seat held by Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, who's in a crowded race for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat. She has endorsed Min to be her successor.

Whether Min's arrest will have national implications remains to be seen, the Los Angeles Times reports.

But the potential for a shake-up is enormous, and the political stakes are higher in a purple region like Orange County. [...]

Min’s arrest means that “Min’s chances just took a big hit, but not necessarily Democrats’ chances,” David Wasserman, a congressional forecaster for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told me.

“We won’t change our ‘Lean-D’ rating of the race based on this development.”

He pointed out that because the election is more than a year away, there is still time for Democrats to coalesce around Weiss and put up a strong fight to keep the seat.

The 47th congressional district — which includes Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach — is among a handful of swing districts in California that will help determine the balance of power in the narrowly-divided House of Representatives.

These seats are key to Democrats’ quest to reclaim control of the House, because they only need to flip five seats nationwide to win the majority. But that assumes they don’t lose any that they have now. (LA Times)

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Republicans have already jumped on Min's arrest, labeling him "DUI Dave."



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