POLITICS
09/08/2014 03:53 pm ET

Mitt Romney Backs Republican Vying For Henry Waxman's Seat

NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is endorsing Elan Carr in the race for retiring Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-Calif.) congressional seat.

In a Monday statement, Romney praised the Republican prosecutor, who is running against Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu to represent California's 33rd Congressional District.

"As a father, soldier and criminal gang prosecutor, Elan has the experience and determination needed to win in November and join the fight against the big-government policies that are hurting working families in California," Romney said. "The son of immigrant parents, Elan's life-story embodies how important it is to protect the American Dream and ensure the opportunities he had in his life are available for our children and grandchildren."

Carr finished first in June's jungle primary, in which the top two finishers advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. Lieu, who has served in the state legislature since 2005, finished second, narrowly ahead of fellow Democrat Wendy Greuel. Overall, sixteen candidates (three of them Republicans) vied for the top two spots, making the race one of this cycle's most expensive. The district is rated "safely Democratic" by Rothenberg Political Report.

Carr has also picked up endorsements from other California Republicans like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari and Rep. Darrell Issa. Lieu, meanwhile, has the backing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) as well as Waxman himself.

Waxman, known as a prolific legislator, announced in January that he would be ending his 40-year career on Capitol Hill at the end of this term. The longtime congressman played a key role in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, in addition to authoring legislation expanding HIV-related services, strengthening the Clean Air Act and helping bring affordable generic drugs to market.

California's 33rd District is one of the nation's wealthiest, and includes tony communities like Beverly Hills, Malibu, Bel-Air and Rancho Palos Verdes.

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