Republican Young Kim defeats Gil Cisneros in House race, flips California seat red
Young Kim defeated first-term Democratic Rep. Ed Cisneros in California’s 39th Congressional District, a traditionally Republican area east and south of Los Angeles that has since moved left.
To all the supporters, volunteers, interns, staff, and everyone who fought with me along the way — thank you! I am humbled and honored to serve #CA39 in Congress and to fight for our community. pic.twitter.com/zyF5w8ruij
— Young Kim (@YoungKimCA) November 14, 2020
The California Republican won the race with 50.6% of the vote to Cisneros’s 49.4% with 99% of the precincts reporting. Kim is part of a growing list of over a dozen Republicans who flipped Democratic districts this cycle.
“The voters have spoken, and I want to congratulate @YoungKimCA on her victory and wish her nothing but success for the 39th District. I’m proud to have served my country in the U.S. Navy, and I’m proud to have served it again in Congress. It’s been the honor of a lifetime,” Cisneros said in a tweet on Friday evening.
The voters have spoken, and I want to congratulate @YoungKimCA on her victory and wish her nothing but success for the 39th District. I’m proud to have served my country in the U.S. Navy, and I’m proud to have served it again in Congress. It’s been the honor of a lifetime. #CA39
— Gil Cisneros (@GilCisnerosCA) November 14, 2020
The 39th Congressional District includes areas of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. Despite its many recent years of Republican representation, the Cook Political Report rated the district this cycle as “likely Democratic.”
Former Republican Rep. Ed Royce represented the district for 26 years until his retirement in the 2018 cycle. The seat flipped to Democratic control when Cisneros defeated Kim with 51.6% of the vote to her 48.4%. The race was not called for two weeks. President Trump lost the 39th District by 9 points in 2016.
Kim, who arrived in the United States as a pre-teenager with her family from Seoul, South Korea, was the first Korean American Republican in the California state Assembly. She worked for Royce as the congressman’s community liaison and director of Asian affairs. Prior to that, she was a financial analyst and business owner in the women’s wear industry.
Cisneros became rich by winning the $266 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot in 2010, just weeks after he was laid off from his job as a shipping and manufacturing manager for Frito-Lay. The Democratic congressman and Navy veteran, along with his wife, established scholarships and endowments for Latino students and colleges and universities in California.
— Young Kim (@YoungKimCA) November 14, 2020
— Young Kim (@YoungKimCA) November 15, 2020
Young & I met when were both running in 2018. We are fighters — we never, ever give up.
We are passionate about freedom because we understand how socialism only represents hunger, oppression, & exile! pic.twitter.com/Nqnctp0dav
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) November 15, 2020
Driven, dedicated, and relentless. @YoungKimCA is the real deal. From day one, Young wanted to run a campaign that was built to win, talked about real issues, and fought to make a real difference. Big congrats to Young, Charles, the entire family, and an all-star team! #CA39 pic.twitter.com/ZhuAYSufoh
— Sam Oh (@sam_s_oh) November 14, 2020
To every member of our grassroots team — THANK YOU! While we're still waiting on results, your support and dedication have been critical to the success of this campaign. I could not be more grateful. pic.twitter.com/ro1rJX4ntx
— Young Kim (@YoungKimCA) November 4, 2020
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 15, 2020
— CAGOP (@CAGOP) November 14, 2020
I can’t find the words to describe how happy I am for @YoungKimCA and her great family. She truly personifies the American Dream. She is a star, who will now shine in Congress. #CA39 https://t.co/uTn4GGKyBR
— Bob Honold (@BobbyHonold) November 14, 2020
.@MichelleSteelCA & @YoungKimCA are powerful testimonies that Asian Pacific Americans can be successful in politics as proud American conservatives. These two female Asian pioneers have broken Democrats’ decades long false promise and narrative on how we should think & act.
— Esther Lu – Text ARISE to 88022 (@EstherZLu) November 14, 2020