|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 45th district
January 3, 2015 - January 3, 2019
|John B. T. Campbell III|
|Member of the California Senate|
from the 37th district
33rd district (2008-12)
December 1, 2008 - January 3, 2015
|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 73rd district
December 6, 2004 - November 30, 2008
Marian Elaine Krogius
May 14, 1962
Pasadena, California, U.S.
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles (BA)|
Marian Elaine "Mimi" Walters (née Krogius; born May 14, 1962) is an American businesswoman and politician. A Republican, she served from 2015 to 2019 as the U.S. Representative for California's 45th congressional district.
Before running for office, Walters was an investment banker from 1988 to 1995, and served as chairwoman of Laguna Niguel's investment and banking committee. She was a member of the California State Senate for the 37th Senate district from 2012 to 2014 and the 33rd Senate district from 2008 to 2012, and represented the 73rd Assembly district in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2008.
Walters was elected to represent California's 45th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 2014, and was re-elected in 2016. She ran for a third term in the 2018 midterm elections, but was defeated by Democrat Katie Porter.
Walters served as chair of Laguna Niguel's investment and banking committee, then was appointed to the Laguna Niguel city council in 1996 after the incumbent resigned. Walters served as mayor in 2000.
In 2004, Walters was elected to represent the 73rd Assembly District, which includes coastal Orange and San Diego county communities of Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Oceanside, Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Aliso Viejo. Her term ran from January 2005 to January 2007. In November 2006 she was re-elected to a second term in the Assembly.
Walters was elected to the State Senate in November 2008.
In 2013, the California Fair Political Practices Commission cleared Walters of wrongdoing in a conflict of interest investigation "into phone calls made by her office on behalf of a company once co-owned by her husband."
In January 2010, Walters announced that she would run for California State Treasurer against Democratic incumbent Bill Lockyer. Walters became the Republican nominee for State Treasurer but lost to Lockyer in the general election.
Democratic candidate and trial lawyer Steve Young filed an unsuccessful civil lawsuit in an attempt to keep Walters' name off of the 2012 ballot. Young's lawsuit challenged Walters' residency in the 37th District; after the California Citizens Redistricting Commission redrew the state's legislative districts in 2011, Walters announced that she had moved from Laguna Nigel to Irvine in order to be eligible to run in the 37th Senate District.
She was endorsed by a number of Republican members of Congress from California, including Campbell, Kevin McCarthy, Darrell Issa, and Ed Royce. Prior to the 2014 election, she set up the Blessings of Liberty Leadership PAC.
Walters was placed in the National Republican Congressional Committee's (NRCC) "Contender" category of their "Young Guns" program. In September 2014, the NRCC named Walters along with 13 other candidates to their "Vanguard" program. In the nonpartisan blanket primary, she came in first place in a field of three candidates with 45% of the vote. In the general election, she defeated Democratic candidate Drew Leavens with 65% of the vote.
Walters ran for re-election in 2018. She and Democrat Katie Porter advanced out of the top-two primary in June 2018. Walters and Porter, a consumer lawyer and UC Irvine law professor, faced off in the general election on November 6, 2018.
In May 2018, Politico reported that Democrats were confident they would oust Walters given that in 2016, Hillary Clinton had carried the 45th district, writing that Walters had "backed some of the most polarizing planks of President Donald Trump's agenda," and that Walters was "upbeat about surviving the much-predicted Democratic wave." Politico noted her support for a popular November ballot referendum. "The only reason I'm a target is because Hillary Clinton won my district," said Walters. "I got 37,000 more votes than President Trump did."
In September 2018, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), the largest Republican super PAC active in U.S. House races, announced a $400,000 ad buy in support of Walters' campaign. In October 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported that the CLF had not purchased advertisements for Walters in its opening round of broadcast television advertising buys in Southern California. The CLF pushed back on the Los Angeles Times report, saying they had reserved over $3 million in Walters' district and had begun advertising there in August.
At the end of election night, Walters was in the lead against Porter, but over the following days, her lead was reversed as more ballots were counted. In fundraising emails sent to supporters, Walters claimed that Democrats were seeking to "steal" her seat by tampering with votes.
On November 15, 2018, the Associated Press called the race for Porter.
|Democratic||Drew E. Leavens||24,721||28.1|
|No party preference||Al Salehi||2,317||2.6|
|Democratic||Drew E. Leavens||56,819||34.9|
|Republican||Mimi Walters (incumbent)||65,773||40.9|
|Republican||Mimi Walters (incumbent)||182,618||58.6|
|Republican||Mimi Walters (incumbent)||86,764||51.7|
|No party preference||John Graham||3,817||2.3|
|Republican||Mimi Walters (incumbent)||146,383||47.9|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
The American Conservative Union gave her an 89% evaluation in 2017.
Walters had a "D" rating from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an advocacy group supporting the legalization of marijuana.
In February 2017, Walters voted against a resolution that would have directed the House to request 10 years of Trump's tax returns, which would then have been reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed session.
In November 2017, Walters voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the house version of the Republican Party's tax reform bill. The House bill removed state and local tax breaks that many Californians used, such as the mortgage interest deduction. Several House Republicans representing Californian districts voted against the legislation because it raised taxes on Californians. Walters said after the vote that she had received assurances from House Speaker Paul Ryan that a reconciliation version of the bill with the Senate would restore the lost tax breaks that had been removed in the House version. According to the Los Angeles Times, immediately after the vote, the Senate version of the bill "contains even deeper cuts to state and local tax breaks that are popular with Californians but maintains the mortgage interest deduction at its current level instead of cutting it in half as the House plan does. It also repeals Obamacare's individual mandate, a move that could further complicate the situation for California members who represent districts with a lot of Obamacare enrollees."
In 2015, Walters sponsored and voted for H.R. 1732, a bill that opposed the Waters of the United States rule, which expands the federal government's jurisdiction to regulate waters and certain adjacent lands.
Also in 2015, Walters voted to repeal the limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants set by the Clean Power Plan. "Forcing a shift away from traditional energy resources," she explained, "would ultimately stifle the economy for years to come and harm consumers' pocketbooks." Walters also co-sponsored the Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2017, which became law, and which declares that there is no legal requirement to regulate global warming.
Walters was originally a climate change denier, but she began to shift her views after meeting with the Orange County Central chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby in 2014. After they explained to her how the market-based approach of carbon fee and dividend could have a positive impact on the climate without expanding government, Walters replied, "You guys are doing it the right way". In July 2017, Walters voted to veto the Perry Amendment, which would have defunded Defense Department efforts to track climate change and its threats to military bases.
In October 2017, after President Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, "Walters officially changed from a climate-change skeptic to a believer...and joined the Congressional Climate Solutions Caucus.
Walters supported the repeal of Obamacare and voted in 2015 for H.R. 596, the House bill to repeal Obamacare. She also voted for H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, which would have repealed Obamacare.
Walters supported repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) with the American Health Care Act, the GOP's replacement plan for Obamacare, which did not come to a vote initially. She said that passing the American Health Care Act "is a critical step" towards the goal of rescuing "this failing healthcare system".
On May 4, 2017, Walters voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act. In early 2017, Walters tweeted that she was "committed to protecting patients w/ pre-existing conditions to ensure their access to quality, affordable healthcare". However, USA Today noted that the version of the American Health Care Act that she voted in favor of allows insurance companies to charge higher premiums to individuals with pre-existing conditions (such as cancer, epilepsy, diabetes and pregnancy). Walters was an original cosponsor of H.R. 4684, the Access to Quality Sober Living Act, which would require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish best practices for sober living facilities for opioid addicts. This legislation was written after a subcommittee hearing exposed scams at such facilities.
A May 2018 profile of Walters noted her longtime "reputation as a gun-rights advocate." In the State Assembly, "she twice voted against bills requiring the microstamping of bullets from automatic firearms," against "background checks for ammunition buyers," against a ban on "large-capacity conversion kits," and against "prohibiting people under domestic violence restraining orders from obtaining firearms." But during her years in the House, "California voters' concerns about school shootings had risen dramatically, with 73 percent of respondents admitting they were worried about a mass shooting at their public school," with high-school students in Walters's district holding anti-gun rallies.
Walters voted in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (H.R. 3) in 2015.
As an Assemblywoman, Walters endorsed Proposition 8, which declared same-sex marriage illegal in the state of California. Then-Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) named Walters as one of seven Republican representatives who switched their votes regarding a bill upholding an executive order prohibiting defense contractors from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation. The identities of the seven vote-switchers were not publicly recorded and none of those named by Hoyer confirmed his claims. PBS reported that under shouts of 'shame', Walters voted against this protection, which ended up narrowly failing.
In January 2018, Walters voted for H.R. 695, the 2018 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, saying that she had acted to "fully fund the Department of Defense to ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools and resources they need to keep our country safe... It is imperative our armed forces are properly equipped and ready to meet current and future challenges."
In March 2018, Walters signed a bipartisan letter in support of funding to restart the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. "Just south of California's 45th district," she stated, "1,800 tons of spent nuclear fuel sits at the inactive San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Unfortunately, our Nation's nuclear waste management system is broken and spent fuel sits at nuclear sites like SONGS with nowhere to go. By law, the Federal government is obligated to take ownership of, and safely store, spent fuel at a permanent repository."
In 2014, Walters voted for a bill in committee that banned public transit workers from going on strike.
In February 2018, the House passed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), introduced by Walters, Ann Wagner (R-Missouri), and Carolyn Maloney (D-New York). It included an amendment written by Walters that would permit enforcement of criminal and civil sex trafficking laws against websites that facilitate online sex trafficking. The amended legislation passed with bipartisan support.
Walters is married and has four children. Her husband, David, is the owner of a boutique investment bank, Monarch Bay Associates (renamed Boustead Securities). Boustead was included in a 2017 Reuters report as a brokerage firm known for hiring "advisers with histories of misconduct sanctions, legal disputes and financial distress." In 2010, financial disclosure forms showed that Mimi Walters' holdings include between $100,000 and $1 million in Goldman Sachs. More recent congressional financial disclosure forms show holdings in Boustead Securities, Laguna Advisory Services, and an apartment building in Encinitas, California. Walters is a Catholic