As election officials are counting chads once more in Florida and in Arizona in search of the victor in the US senate race, there is a district in California that is poised to make history once all the mail-in numbers come in.

Young Kim, the Republican candidate, is likely be the first Korean-American woman elected to the US Congress once the final numbers are crunched.

California’s Congressional District 39 was one of the tightest races of the 2018 midterm elections, and even with the votes tallied, the outcome remains far from clear.

But figures compiled by the Associated Press suggest that the Republican candidate, former state assemblywoman Young Kim, has 51.3 per cent of the vote – a narrow lead that, should it hold, would set her up to become the first Korean-American woman to be elected to the US Congress.

…District 39, which represents parts of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties, became a race to watch after its Republican incumbent, Ed Royce, who has represented it since 1994, announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down.

Though Royce has typically won his re-elections by comfortable margins, the once reliably Republican district is changing. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, took the district by 8 percentage points over Republican Donald Trump.

I suspect most Legal Insurrection readers are not familiar with Kim, as her affiliation with the Republican party negates any publicity bonus she would receive from the elite media for being both a woman and a minority. Washington Examiner contributor Tiana Lowe compares the press coverage to other minority women who also ran for Congress this year.

Unlike some other prominent California politicians, Kim is a self-made woman. She forged her own path in California politics. Although the heavily diverse and immigrant-heavy 39th District flipped for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, Kim is an immigrant running on a pro-DACA and pro-chain migration platform, catering to the fiscally conservative but mostly socially libertarian interests of her district. If the successful immigrant constituency epitomizes the ideal district for Democrats to flip, then Kim is the only kind of woman to keep it red.

Despite the media’s laser focus on Orange County, famously a conservative dot on California’s deep blue coast, the media have largely ignored Kim. The likes of POLITICO Magazine and the Washington Post have found the page space to laud Rashida Tlaib, the other presumptive first Muslim woman in Congress who, like Omar, has flirted with embracing a one-state solution eradicating the state of Israel. Yet the Los Angeles Times, Kim’s own county paper, failed to profile her until a month ago, and ABC just did a few days ago.

Kim immigrated legally to this country in 1975, and has been rising steadily through the political ranks as a Republican.

Kim’s career began as a small business owner and financial analyst. However, representing our area was always a calling that she would one day pursue. Her public service began more than 25 years ago, when Kim began to work for U.S. Representative Ed Royce, eventually becoming his Director of Community Operations.

Continuing to expand her public service, Kim was elected to the 65th District of the California State Assembly in 2014. Despite long odds, Young Kim unseated a fully funded incumbent to become the first ever Korean-American Republican woman elected to serve in the State Assembly.

On a less happy note: Elizabeth Heng, the Republican congressional candidate whose Facebook video was blocked for its images of the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s while telling about her parents’ survival, lost her race.

Democrat Jim Costa has defeated Republican Elizabeth Heng in the 16th Congressional District, which includes much of the city of Fresno and parts of Fresno, Madera and Merced counties.

Costa had 44,769 votes to Heng’s 37,480 (54 percent to 46 percent) with all precincts reporting.

We wish both of these women a tremendous amount of luck going forward. Being from California, they will surely need it.


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