Although initial results from the Nov. 6 election in the 39th Congressional District showed Republican Young Kim ahead of Democrat Gil Cisneros, that lead eroded as ballots were tallied.
As of Monday, Cisneros had 122,302 votes (51.4 percent) to Kim’s 115,869 (48.6 percent). Cisneros will succeed Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who is retiring after 13 terms, and will join the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
Kim, a former member of the Assembly and former aide to Royce, would have been the first Korean American woman in Congress.
Although the final days of the campaign were marred by accusations from both sides of interference in the election, Cisneros and Kim struck a conciliatory tone.
“Thank you to everyone who put their faith in me,” Cisneros said in a statement on Nov. 20. “Whether you voted for me or not, I will be your voice. This goes beyond party labels, but doing what’s right for the 39th. Together, we have changed the course of history for our district. I’m proud to say that I will be:
“The first Latino to represent the 39th’
“The first Democratic congressman for the 39th;
“The first U.S. Navy veteran to represent the 39th;
“And the first Mega Million lottery winner to enter into Congress.
“And this will be the first time since 1940 that all seven House seats in Orange County are represented by Democrats in the United States Congress.”
In a statement on Nov. 17, Kim said, “This evening, I called Gil Cisneros to congratulate him and offer him my best wishes in Congress. I’m grateful that voters allowed me to share my vision and I believe that the competitive nature of this election shows that my message and service to this community resonated. I owe my deepest thanks to my family that supported me, the supporters that worked tirelessly to propel our campaign, and all the voters that believed in our vision for the future.
“This is my home and I remain committed to finding ways to work with others to improve the lives of the people of this district. Both sides worked hard in this campaign, but now it’s time to come together and find solutions and opportunities that move our community and country forward.”
In another statement, Cisneros said, “This campaign taught me so much. In one of the most diverse districts in the country, I learned that for all of our differences, we all care about the same things. We want our kids to feel safe at school, good jobs that allow us to provide for our families, affordable healthcare that ensures our loved ones receive the life-saving care they need, and a clean environment for our children and grandchildren. Most of all, we want to live in a world brought together by hope, not divided by hate.”
In the 34th Senate District, Democrat Tom Umberg continued to increase his lead over the incumbent, Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), who first assumed office in December 2014 after serving on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
As of Monday, Umberg had 133,302 votes (50.5 percent) to Nguyen’s 130,770 (49.5 percent). On Election Night, Umberg, a former member of the Assembly, trailed Nguyen by nearly 11,000 votes.