SAN DIEGO — Democrat Rep. Mike Levin has built an early lead in the race for the 49th Congressional District, early results in the California General Election showed Wednesday morning.     

Levin has garnered around 51% of the vote compared to his Republican opponent Brian Maryott‘s 49%. 

New boundaries in the 49th Congressional District removed a portion containing parts of the city of San Diego and added the Orange County city Laguna Niguel. The coastal North County district runs from Del Mar to Orange County’s Dana Point and includes Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Camp Pendleton. 

Political observers have highlighted the district as a potential battleground

Levin is an environmental attorney first elected to congress in 2018, serving on the House Natural Resources and Veterans’ Affairs committees. He grew up in southern Orange County and lives in San Juan Capistrano. 

Levin’s background in environmental law has made protecting his district’s natural resources and combating climate change a frequent subject of his campaign material. Levin says “we can protect our environment, combat the climate crisis, and grow our economy at the same time,” through programs that would expand renewable infrastructure and invest in clean manufacturing. 

As the incumbent representative for Camp Pendleton, Levin also emphasizes his programs benefiting veterans and active duty service members, listing 15 bipartisan bills that he helped pass on the issue. 

The congressman told the San Diego Union-Tribune in April that he supports a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers” and that he generally supports the Biden administration’s response to the war in Ukraine.