The Associated Press projects that GOP Rep. Ken Calvert will defeat his Democratic challenger, Will Rollins, following a competitive race for California’s 41st congressional district.
This race, considered a must-win for Republicans, pushes the GOP one seat closer to the 218 seats needed to regain a House majority, though control of the House is still up for grabs according to Associated Press race projections.
The Republicans currently have 217 seats in GOP control, and there are 13 seats left in play to determine the balance of power in the House.
Calvert has represented California’s ‘Inland Empire’ since 1993, though this is his first time running in the newly redrawn 41st district that includes parts of the Coachella Valley and Riverside County in Southern California.
Although the region has been considered a GOP stronghold in past elections, redistricting to include greater portions of Palm Springs, a city with large swaths of Democrat-voting residents, has made CA-41 one of the most competitive races in the state this cycle.
The recently redrawn district has an evenly split population of registered Democrats and Republicans, with 20 percent of the population ‘unaffiliated’ to a party.
Calvert’s Democratic challenger, Rollins, is a former federal prosecutor and an openly gay political newcomer in California.