Rafu Staff and Wire Reports
SACRAMENTO — Republican Rep. Dan Lungren has conceded in his race with challenger Dr. Ami Bera for a Sacramento-area House seat, a day after the Democrat was declared the winner.
In a statement issued Friday, the nine-term congressman and former state attorney general congratulated Bera, who had 51.1 percent of the vote to Lungren’s 48.9 percent in preliminary results.
Lungren said he hopes Bera approaches the job with “a humble heart” and a “desire to perform his duties in the best interest of the people he represents.”
The veteran lawmaker said he was proud of his accomplishments in Congress, including work on cyber security, human trafficking and levee improvements. He represented parts of Long Beach and Orange County in the 1980s and served on the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, which examined the government’s treatment of Japanese Americans and Aleuts in Alaska during World War II.
Bera, 45, of Elk Grove said, “It will be an honor to serve Sacramento County in the Congress. Now is the time to find common ground and move forward to rebuild an economy that works for the middle class.”
The 7th Congressional District race was among the most expensive House contests in the nation. Outside groups spent more than $8.3 million.
Bera, who was making his second try for the House seat, becomes one of 12 Asian Pacific American members of Congress and only the third Indian American to be elected to Congress.
Current members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, all Democrats, are Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii and Reps. Judy Chu of El Monte, Mike Honda of San Jose, Doris Matsui of Sacramento, Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii, Bobby Scott of Virginia (who is of African American and Filipino descent) and Hansen Clarke of Michigan (who is of African American and Bangladeshi descent).
Akaka is retiring and Clarke lost his bid for re-election in the primary.
Rep. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii will move from the House to the Senate, succeeding Akaka. The new CAPAC members in the House will be Mark Takano of Riverside, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Grace Meng of New York, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (who won the seat being vacated by Hirono), and Bera.
The caucus also includes three non-voting delegates from U.S. territories: Rep. Madeleine Bordallo of Guam, Rep. Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa, and Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.