LGBTQ Dem is giving longtime Republican a run for his money in Palm Springs
Ken Calvert / Office of U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert

On Tuesday, ABC7 reported that Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), a longtime House Republican, is facing an unusually difficult re-election challenge as a gay Democrat challenges him in a newly redrawn district that includes much more liberal territory Calvert hasn't had to stand for election in up to this point.

"Sixty-nine-year-old Congressman Ken Calvert has represented the Inland Empire in Washington D.C. for 30 years, but redistricting changed the map and added Palm Springs to the 41st district," reported Josh Haskell. "Calvert's Democratic opponent is 37-year-old former federal prosecutor Will Rollins, who is gay and hopes to turn this historically red portion of Southern California to blue. Rollins says he decided to run following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol."

While Rollins attacks Calvert over inaction in the wake of that attack, Calvert is sticking to conventional GOP lines of attack, railing against inflation and fuel prices and trying to stick these issues on to President Joe Biden, and by extension his party.

"Rollins has also called out Calvert for softening his tone on abortion saying his opponent is aware the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v Wade is not popular in California," said the report. "'He's trying to take a big eraser and go back to his congressional record and remind everyone that none of that ever happened and unfortunately it's there in the congressional record books. So I'm running against a guy who already voted in 1995 for a national abortion ban with no exceptions to save the life of a woman,' said Rollins."

"The 41st district stretches from Corona to Indio and extends north almost to Yucaipa and south to Sage and Anza," said the report. "Twenty percent of the district is new including Palm Springs which has a large LGBTQ+ population."

California is seeing several competitive House races this year, many of which are centered in the historically Republican but left-trending Orange County, where a number of districts changed hands both in 2018 and 2020 before being redrawn.

Watch the original report below: