SANTA ANA (CNS) - Former Rep. Harley Rouda Tuesday withdrew his bid for the congressional seat being vacated by Irvine Democrat Katie Porter, saying he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a recent fall.
"Late last month, following a fall, I was transported to a nearby hospital," Rouda, a Democrat, said in a statement. "Tests revealed that I suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury with two intra parenchymal hemorrhages -- a concerning diagnosis to say the least.
"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 made this possible, and whose professionalism and care was a comfort during this trying time.
"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."
Rouda, 61, jumped into the race earlier this year following Porter's announcement that she would be seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Dianne Feinstein. He previously served one term representing the 48th Congressional District but was unseated by Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Huntington Beach. The subsequent redistricting process moved Rouda into the 47th District.
The 47th District includes Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Seal Beach.
State Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, is seeking the seat, as is Republican businessman Scott Baugh, who lost a narrow race for the seat to Porter.
In his statement withdrawing from the race, Rouda thanked his supporters and apologized for "not being able to fight on."
"I love this community and this district," he said. "I still believe today that we need moderates in office who will reach across the aisle and actually do the work of governing. I believe we need to elect people who don't care for antics, props, and sound bites, but care about serving the greater good. People who run for office to actually serve the people who elected them."