Independents decry partisanship in bids for congressional Republicans’ seats – Orange County Register

The Buzz is the Register’s weekly political news column.

There are just two independents among the 485 members of Congress, but twice that many have already declared candidacies for three of Orange County’s Republican-held House seats.

The three districts each have more Republican than Democratic voters, and have long been represented by Republicans in Congress. But with Hillary Clinton winning in all three last November, these unaffiliated, low-budget candidates see an alluring path between the two parties — especially with a quarter of all county voters declining to state a party preference.

“It’s hard for older Republicans to pull the lever for a Democrat and I’d like to provide an alternative,” said Kevin Kensinger. The 33-year-old Aliso Viejo resident is running against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, who’s made headlines for meetings with Russian officials and with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The field of challengers also includes seven Democrats, a Libertarian and a Republican.