Royce, Murdock fight for congressional seat

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Republican Ed Royce, incumbent representative for the 39th district over the last 22 years, is the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Mari Five / For The Daily Titan)
Republican Ed Royce, incumbent representative for the 39th district over the last 22 years, is the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
(Mari Five / For The Daily Titan)
Democrat Brett Murdock, lawyer and professor of American Government at Cal State Fullerton, is backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the run against the incumbent Ed Royce. (Mia Agraviador / Daily Titan)
Democrat Brett Murdock, lawyer and professor of American Government at Cal State Fullerton, is backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the run against the incumbent Ed Royce.
(Mia Agraviador / Daily Titan)

Residents of California’s 39th congressional district will be faced with a decision between Incumbent representative Ed Royce (R) and Brett Murdock (D) in November.

Historically Republican, the 39th district voted a majority Democrat for the first time in more than 30 years in the 2016 primary elections.

Royce said this will not change the way he campaigns or the way he plans to represent the district.

“The Washington Post did a ranking of the 435 members of Congress, and I was ranked no. 3 in terms of effectiveness,” Royce said. “One of the things they pointed out was that I had the ability to work across the aisle to get a lot of legislations through.”

Murdock is a long-time resident of the district who teaches American Government at Cal State Fullerton and practices law in Brea. He believes he will bring something new to the table if elected to Congress.

“I don’t think I am going to change the world in two years, but … I am going to work hard and fight hard for this district, specifically this district, the 700,000 people that live in this district, and try and bring the tax dollars that we send to Washington D.C. back home to fix freeway overpasses or build train stations,” Murdock said.

Both candidates have invested over $2.5 million in this year’s campaign, in hopes of representing the people of Fullerton, Brea, Placentia, La Habra, Yorba Linda, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, Walnut, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar and parts of Anaheim.

If elected, the candidates will not only have the responsibility of representing District 39’s views, they will also have to deal with national problems as a part of the House of Representatives.
The incumbent, Royce, is chair of the foreign affairs committee in the House.

“Because of my focus on making certain that we have partners on both sides of the aisle when I move my bills, we have been able to move legislation like the global anti-poaching act,” Royce said. “Many of the bills to stop trafficking have been in a particular interest of mine, but we have also been able to advance legislation from a direction of trying to figure out on conflict resolutions.”

Despite Royce’s time and accomplishments in the house, Murdock believes he can be beaten.

“Ed Royce is tough to beat, he has been there for quite a while. But the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) showed me some numbers that made me think that this could be done, so I went for it,” Murdock said.

Many of the students at CSUF will be voting in their first or second elections. These candidates both think they will be the best to represent the students on this campus.

“They should vote for me because I match their values,” Murdock said. “I’m in favor of pathways to citizenship and immigration reform, and he is against it. I am in favor of doing everything the federal government can to make college education debt free and more affordable for students, and he is not. I am in favor of protecting a woman’s right to choose, and he is not. I am in favor of supporting people’s right to marry whomever they want, he is not. Those are just a couple of issues that I would like to think match the younger generations of this country.”

Royce not only believes he will represent the students well, but said he offers them opportunities.

“The great thing about representing CSUF is that I am able to hold a lot of functions on the campus because it is in my district … I am involved in a lot of the activities on the campus, in terms of different forums … It provides me the ability to interact with the students.” Royce said. “A lot of my employees actually are from Cal State Fullerton, including many of the interns who work both in our office here and our office in Washington D.C. In addition to the work in Washington (D.C.), we also have the foreign affairs committee that I chair, so I funnel many of the CSUF interns through that program, so they get a chance to work on foreign policy issues, whether it is with the Asian sub-committee, Africa sub-committee, Middle-East, and I think they enjoy it.”

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