Republican U.S. Rep. Michelle Steel receives the endorsement from Orange County’s premiere newspaper, the OC Register, while her opponent Democrat Jay Chen earns an endorsement from The Los Angeles Times.
Candidates Republican Rep. Michelle Steel and Democrat Jay Chen will go head to head to represent the 45th Congressional District, which was redrawn under redistricting, come Nov. 8.
Steel, who emigrated from South Korea, decided to run for re-election after redistricting placed her home in Seal Beach in Democrat U.S. Rep. Katie Porter’s current district. Steel is now running in the 45th district which has a large Asian American demographic.
Steel, who is the incumbent in CA-45, received the Orange County Register’s endorsement on Sept. 29. The OC Register is Orange County’s premiere newspaper, which was established in 1905.
“We disagree with Steel on several issues, but she consistently advocates for lower taxes and fewer government regulations. She understands the root cause of inflation is too much government spending,” the newspaper said in a statement.
The paper also said Steel has led a “solid moderate-conservative record” and has “made a point of working across the aisle” when it comes to bipartisan policies, like the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022 that President Joe Biden signed into law this year.
“Jay Chen is running a standard hard-left campaign,” the newspaper said. “Chen’s ‘solution’ to inflation is to use his office to punish whoever he considers to be price gougers.”
The OC Register went onto say in its statement that Chen proposed the “discredited idea of a windfall profits tax on companies if they earn ‘too much” money.’”
“Instead of showing concern about federal spending, Chen defends myriad giveaway programs. He also has the habit of leveling overheated allegations against Steel and descending into overwrought talking points,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Chen received an endorsement from the liberal-leaning newspaper The Los Angeles Times, established in 1881.
“Chen has said he would vote to protect reproductive rights — in contrast to Steel,” The LA Times said in an editorial on Oct. 2. “She signed a brief in 2021 asking the Supreme Court to end federal protections for abortion and she co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act, which would enact a nationwide abortion ban.”
The race has heated up between the two candidates, with Steel accusing Chen of making racist comments about her accents after he claimed Steel would need an interpreter to “figure out exactly what she’s saying.” Chen also voted to implement a free Chinese-language program created by the China Communist Party while on the Hacienda La Puente school board nearly a decade ago.