Buh-Bye Baugh: Blue Uprising and Coastal Orange County Communities Prevent Lockout in General Election

Wow, everyone. We did some good work during this primary election.

A huge congrats to California for heading to the polls on Tuesday, and voting for progressive values and candidates across the state. We especially want to give a giant hug, a perfect-contact-high-five, and a very loud ‘cheeeehoooo’ for California’s 48th Congressional district, Coastal Orange County!


Coastal Orange County overcame some big obstacles in this race, and ocean-lovers, environmentalists, and progressives all made it out with a progressive candidate on the ticket in November. Right now, we’re in a win-win situation with both Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda vying for a place in the general election. While, we don’t know who will be the final candidate in November yet, we are beyond excited that either of these guys are going on to take down Rohrabacher in 5 months.

Why Coastal Orange County?

Early on, we knew that one of the most important coastal races was going down in OC, and that the best way to support the fight for fresh, ocean-friendly blood in Congress, would be to link up with the folks on the ground who told us they needed our support. Coastal OC is special to us for a lot some personal reasons as well. Our Director of Communications hails from the Newport/Costa Mesa area, and our connection to surf and ocean folks in the area really drove our passion to support this water-and-nature-loving community.

Despite being told not to get involved in the primary election (by an organization that shall remain unnamed, because nobody’s perfect & it ain’t no sweat off our back), the Blue Uprising team linked up with local organizations to find out how we could most help this fight to keep the district from getting stuck with two not-so-great, not-so-ocean-loving candidates in November.

The Rohrabacher/Baugh Connection

We connected with the Indivisible OC48 group, who was one of the main groups that really helped affirm our understanding that this race was about more than just Rohrabacher–this was about Rohrabacher and Baugh taking the ticket together, and locking out progressives in November. We knew we had to go after both Rohrabacher and Baugh, and we were willing to do it when others weren’t (insert horn toot here).

Taking on Rohrabacher and Baugh (who we so fondly like to refer to as ‘the Comrade and the Crook’) meant that we were going to have to step out of our comfort zone, and our brand identity as a surfing PAC to connect and support the entire community. It can be easy to get so caught up in your own bubble politically, and we needed to expand our perspective to include the community that our base (surfers) share their hometown with.

Go big or go home

We launched a huge billboard campaign, raised all the funds necessary (THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!), to focus on the connection between Baugh and Rohrabacher. You can read more about that here. We focused on this connection early on, in order to keep these two from taking the ticket together (I mean, come on - they’ve been pals for 20+ years, and now they’re suddenly rivals? We knew something was up).

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Let the people know who’s on the ballot

We worked to send out a mailer to 30k homes in OC, letting them know about the candidates that had dropped out of the race. We knew it was going to be a tight race, and that voting for progressives that were actively on the ticket was the only way to beat Baugh, and have a fighting chance to take Rohrabacher out of office in November.

In the end, by listening to the voices of Coastal Orange County, we were able to get ahead of the game, and fight to make the community more aware of the trouble that Team Rohrabacher/Baugh were bringing to the table. We are excited to have come out of the primaries successful, all because of the grassroots efforts of the OC community, donations of all sizes to our campaign, and the very vocal support we received.

Thank you everyone who voted, and we look forward to continuing the fight for candidates that support ocean-minded initiatives in coastal regions across the United States.

William Rinehart