LOS ANGELES – Republican Young Kim defeated U.S. Rep. Gil Cisneros on Friday in a Southern California district, the second GOP candidate to snatch a Democratic-held seat in the state this year.
The contest in the 39th Congressional District anchored in Orange County was a rematch from 2018, when Cisneros was one of seven Democrats who claimed GOP-held California districts that year.
Kim overcame President Donald Trump’s poor performance in heavily Democratic California, where he got only one-third of the votes.
In a video, Kim thanked supporters and added, with the election over, “I hope we can unite and move forward to address the issues that our nation faces.”
“As an immigrant ... I know that the promise of America is alive,” she added.
Kim, a former state lawmaker, was born in South Korea and grew up in Guam. She joins Washington state’s Marilyn Strickland and California’s Michelle Steel as the first Korean American women elected to Congress.
Strickland, a Democrat, last week won the open 10th Congressional District southwest of Seattle. Steel, a Republican, claimed the 48th District in Orange County on Tuesday from Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda.
In a statement, Cisneros congratulated Kim and said he would take time to consider his future. “I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me," he added.