Former Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) on Tuesday dropped out of the race to succeed Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) after suffering what he said was a “moderate traumatic brain injury” last month.
In a statement, Rouda said that he had gone to the hospital late last month after “an unfortunate fall” had caused brain hemorrhages. His doctors believe that he has “started on the path to a full recovery,” Rouda said, but added that he would suspend his congressional campaign to focus on his health.
“On their advice, I am ending my campaign for California’s 47th congressional district today,” Rouda said. “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’s decision to end his campaign came just two months after he announced that he would seek to replace Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) after she launched a bid for retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) seat.
Rouda defeated former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) in 2018, helping Democrats win control of the House. He lost that seat two years later to Rep. Michelle Steele (R-Calif.).
Rouda considered another bid for the House in 2022, but ultimately opted against a run, because California’s newly redrawn congressional districts would have pitted him against Porter.
Porter’s decision to run for Senate instead of seeking reelection next year leaves California’s 47th congressional district open to a tough challenge. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has already said that it plans on putting up a fight in the district.