Former Rep. Harley Rouda withdraws from House race following brain injury

 April 12, 2023

Due to a serious brain injury, former California representative Harley Rouda is withdrawing from the contest to succeed Democratic representative Katie Porter.

“Last month, following an unfortunate fall, I was transported to a nearby hospital. Tests revealed that I suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury with two intra parenchymal hemorrhages — a concerning diagnosis to say the least," Road said in his announcement.

"Thankfully, my doctors say that I have started on the path to a full recovery. I want to thank the incredible nurses, doctors, and medical staff who have made this possible, and whose professionalism and care was a comfort in this trying time,” Rouda said in a statement.

“But on their advice, I am ending my campaign for California’s 47th congressional district today. This is not the outcome I wanted. But my family comes first, and to be there for them, I need to focus fully on my recovery in the months ahead,” he added.

Rouda's Political History

Rouda, a Democrat who served as the state's 48th District representative from 2019 to 21, revealed his campaign for the 47th District in January, one day after Porter did the same for Dianne Feinstein's open Senate seat.

Despite the 47th District leaning six points to the left, Rouda lost his seat to Republican Rep. Michelle Steel by fewer than 8,500 votes.

Rouda served on the House Oversight and Transportation committees during his lone congressional term. Prior to being placed in Porter's district, he had said that he would run again in 2022.

Rouda subsequently announced his withdrawal, claiming he had “no interest in running against a Democratic incumbent.”

The rest of Roudas Comments

"I love this community and this district. I still believe today that we need moderates in office who will reach across the aisle and actually do the work of governing," Rouda said.

"I believe we need to elect people who don't care for antics, props, and sound bites, but who care about serving the greater good. People who run for office to actually serve the people who elected them.

"In 2018 we made history and defeated Dana Rohrabacher, a career politician, by focusing on commonsense solutions and bipartisanship - not catering toward the extremes of either party.

"I wanted to make our district and our country a better place. And I will continue to do so as much as I can as a private citizen.

"To all of you who have supported me, thank you. I apologize for not being able to fight on. And to my family and close friends, who have been behind me no matter what, you are what is most important to me.

"Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, it has been a true honor."

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