By C. Jayden Smith
In the follow-up of the 2020 battle to represent California’s 49th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, incumbent Democrat Mike Levin appeared poised to hold on to the seat, but in a much tighter race compared to his previous matchup against Republican challenger Brian Maryott.
As of early Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, Levin had received 51% (89,204) of the votes, holding a 2% lead over Maryott (85,560), a former San Juan Capistrano councilmember, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Levin’s lead was much greater in San Diego County’s portion of the district, where he had earned 55.6% (59,655) of voters. As for the Orange County side of the 49th, Maryott was the clear favorite, owning about a 12% advantage by earning 56.2% (37,972) of the votes.
The 49th District includes the cities of Carlsbad, Dana Point, Encinitas, Laguna Niguel, Oceanside, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, and Vista, among other locations in South Orange County, and North San Diego County.
Levin and Maryott had faced each other for the seat in 2020, when Levin won the district with 53.1% of the vote.
Levin, who has held office for back-to-back two-year terms, has expressed support for women’s reproductive rights, such as the ability to choose to have an abortion, keeping taxpayer dollars away from private schools, and supporting law enforcement.
Maryott, a longtime businessman, has expressed support for school choice, fully funding police officers and strict sentencing of lawbreakers, as well as securing the border by funding border enforcement.
In an emailed statement late Tuesday night, Maryott’s camp maintained that voters were ready to move on from Levin as their representative.
“We are certainly optimistic, and this is exactly what we expected to see,” the spokesperson wrote while Levin, at the time, held a double-digit lead, adding: “It may take a few days, but when the dust settles, we expect that the voters of (the 49th District) will send a financial planner to Congress.”
In the Primary Election held this past June to determine who would make it on to the ballot for the Nov. 8 General Election, Levin carried the district race, earning 92,211 votes, or 48.9%, with Maryott leading a contested vote among Republicans by receiving 35,805, or 19% of all voters.
According to the OC Registrar of Voters, 42.6% of Orange County voters chose Levin during the Primary, while Maryott narrowly beat out Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett by three votes to earn a spot on Tuesday’s ballot.
Levin’s campaign had not beeen reached for comment as of press time.
Election results will be updated throughout the canvass period, according to the Secretary of State’s website, and county elections officials must report their final results by Dec. 9. Next, the Secretary of State will put together the results to certify by Dec. 16.
C. Jayden Smith
C. Jayden Smith graduated from Dana Hills High in 2018 before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in digital and broadcast journalism from the University of North Texas. After graduating in December 2020, he reported for the Salina Journal in Salina, Kansas. Jayden loves college football and bothering his black lab named Shadow.