By Bradley Zint
10:08 PM EDT, July 2, 2013
State Sen. Mimi Walters announced Tuesday that she plans to run for the 45th Congressional District seat retiring U.S. Rep. John Campbell (R-Irvine) will vacate next year.
Walters, a Republican, currently represents the 37th District in the California Senate. The district includes Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine and portions of Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach.
"John Campbell has served the people of Orange County, California and the United States with distinction and with a commitment to a firm set of principles," Walters said in a prepared statement. "He will leave behind some big shoes to fill. In Congress, I will continue to fight for the fiscal responsibility, less intrusive government and property rights, and look forward to representing our special part of Orange County in the nation's capital."
The 45th Congressional District includes Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and portions of Anaheim and Orange.
Walters said Tuesday that U.S. Reps. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Darrell Issa (R-Vista), as well as Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, have endorsed her.
Walters, a UCLA graduate, got her start in politics as a member in the Laguna Niguel City Council 1996.
Campbell, who is serving out his fifth term, announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection in 2014.
"At the end of this term, I will have spent 14 years serving in full-time, elected politics," Campbell said in a prepared statement. "I am not, nor did I ever intend to be, a career politician. I am ready to begin a new chapter in my life."
Campbell was elected to the newly redrawn 45th Congressional District seat in the November general election. He won the seat against former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang with 58.5% of the vote.
He was first elected to Congress in a 2005 special election to serve the 48th Congressional District. He had the seat until 2012, when the district was redrawn.
Before getting elected to Congress, Campbell served terms in the state Senate and Assembly.