Republican bet Young Kim has won a congressional seat in Orange County, California after beating out Democratic incumbent Gil Cisneros in a nail-biting race.
This marked the second race in the county in which the Republican party took back a district it had lost to Democrats during the “Blue wave” in 2018.
The candidates first faced off in the 2018 midterm elections in a match so close that it was not called for Cisneros until close to two weeks later.
“Whoever you voted for in this election, I hope you know that regardless of any difference we may have, I will always work on your behalf and fight for you,” Young Kim said in a tweet hours after she won. “Our community is such a wonderful place because we come together to look out for one another. I will take that spirit with me to represent you in Washington DC.”
— Young Kim (@YoungKimCA) November 14, 2020
GOP’s loss of the 39th District during that time came as a surprise. Kim was atop the polls over Cisneros on election night. The race, however, was called for Cisneros by 3.2 percentage points as mail-in ballots delivered for the Blue party.
Cisneros’ triumph in 2018 was part of a blue wave in Orange County that saw him and fellow Democrats Harley Rouda, Katie Porter, and Mike Levin flip Republican districts.
Kim joins a fast-growing class of Korean American members of Congress
Kim is set to become among the first Korean American women to serve in Congress. She will be joining Marilyn Strickland, a Washington Democrat, and newly elected Michelle Steel, an Orange County Republican.
Steel beat out Rep. Harley Rouda who conceded Tuesday to take back a post that the Democrats managed to flip in 2018.
Jay Kim, from Los Angeles County, was the last Korean American member to join Congress. A Republican from Diamond Bar, Kim served until 1999.
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