Bateson, a political newcomer who aims to unseat long-time incumbent Rep. Tom McClintock, has a hill to climb. The district has consistently voted Republican in national elections for decades, and incumbents have a distinct advantage in U.S. elections.
Yet Bateson has been assertive in her opposition to McClintock, a staunch conservative who denies the science behind climate change and supported conservative efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act — two issues that are central to her campaign. Bateson, who enjoys outdoor activities like snowshoeing, hiking and camping, told the Sacramento Bee in July that McClintock “does not reflect the values” nor “act in the best interests” of the district.
Bateson will face McClintock and another strong woman Democrat, Jessica Morse, in the state’s primary. California has a top-two primary system, which places all candidates on the same ballot and sends the two highest vote-getters to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. That means, to survive until November, Bateson would have to best all but one candidate. Her Democratic opponents are Morse and Roza Calderon. Republican challenger Steven Castellanoin late January told a local newspaper that he is dropping out of the race.
Bateson is the race’s second highest Democratic fundraiser, based on official reports as of January 31, with $456,000 in campaign contributions, below Morse’s $561,000 and McClintock’s $638,500. About $36,400 of Bateson’s total contributions have come through campaign crowdfunding site Crowdpac, an alternative small-dollar fundraising source that has attracted many women candidates.
Despite the obstacles, Bateson has a small army of more than 660 volunteers working on her effort to unseat McClintock, and she could attract national attention and money now that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added the 4th District to its target list to flip in 2018.
She also has impressive experience in international relations and national security to run on. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, she became a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State and learned a great deal about terrorist travel and border security. She also served as vice-consul at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, and speaks Spanish fluently. In fact, if elected, Bateson would be the only consular officer ever elected to Congress.
Bateson has local roots — her family has lived in Roseville since 1984. She attended public school there, and was named valedictorian of her high school graduating class. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, then both a master’s and a doctorate from Yale University.
Currently, Bateson is an assistant professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has received several awards for her achievements in mentoring and academic research. Bateson recently moved back to Roseville with her husband and their three young children.
The Latest on the Campaign
February 1, 2018:
Bateson Outraises Incumbent Republican in Fourth Quarter
By Mariana Castro
Regina Bateson’s campaign for a California congressional seat said Wednesday that it raised $260,000 during the fourth quarter of 2017 that ended December 31, surpassing the candidate’s Republican opponent, incumbent Congressman Tom McClintock, who raised $216,000.
“Voters are clearly fed up with Representative Tom McClintock, and I am proud that our grassroots donors are showing that,” said Bateson, whose campaign contributions for the period came entirely from about 2,100 individual contributors.
Bateson’s top Democratic opponent, Jessica Morse, outraised both Bateson and McClintock. Morse, a national security strategist, took in $290,000 in donations, also mostly from individuals. The rush of small donations into both women’s campaigns suggests that a Democratic groundswell is building against McClintock.
On Wednesday, Republican Steven Castellano, a latecomer to the race, told local newspaper The Union Democrat that he is dropping out.