In addition to the support, Frank has pledged to attend a private
fund-raiser for Schipske on July 20 in Laguna Beach.
The Long Beach native has also secured a local endorsement from Women
in Leadership, an Orange County political action committee.
That blessing came at a June 6 luncheon at the Pacific Club in Newport
Schipske, a nurse, attorney and instructor at Cal State Long Beach,
hopes to unseat Huntington Beach's Rohrabacher in the November general
election. She has run against other Republican incumbents. In 2000, she
came within 1% of unseating former Rep. Steve Horn, whose seat was erased
when districts were redrawn.
Rohrabacher's newly aligned district includes Costa Mesa and other
sections of North County, as well as parts of Long Beach and Palos
"I think an endorsement by a progressive Democrat helps me," Schipske
said. "He's a respected leader. He's got a great track record on human
Schipske may have run a nail-biter against Horn but unseating
Rohrabacher will be a tougher task, because the district counts about 45%
of its registered voters as Republicans. Horn's district had a Democratic
Whether Schipske's more liberal message plays well in the Orange
County cities remains to be seen, observers said.
"If anything, that indicates she is well out of the Orange County
mainstream," said Aaron Lewis, Rohrabacher's press secretary.
"Massachusetts has very little in common with Orange County. It's the
epicenter of East Coast liberalism."
Schipske said she raised $2,600 at the Newport Beach event, $1,000 of
which came from the women's group. Costa Mesa Planning Commission
Chairwoman Katrina Foley, who is running for a City Council seat in
November, unveiled the endorsement.
The group also endorsed Republican Charmayne Bohman, who failed to
unseat Rohrabacher in 1998.
Foley, however, declined comment when asked if she personally
supported Schipske for the seat. She did say Rohrabacher, whose district
office is in Huntington Beach, hasn't been accessible to Costa Mesa
"I feel he has not been there for Costa Mesa," Foley said. "I haven't
seen him very involved [in the city's issues]."
Rohrabacher does fly back to Huntington Beach every weekend to visit
the district and surf a few waves, Lewis said.
"That's absurd," Lewis said about the charge that Rohrabacher is an
absentee congressman. "He's there every week."