Political News

Democrat Gil Cisneros takes the lead over Republican Young Kim in California House race

Posted November 15, 2018 10:10 p.m. EST

— Democrat Gil Cisneros on Thursday took the lead over Republican Young Kim in the race to replace retiring Rep. Ed Royce in California's 39th Congressional District, according to the latest vote reports.

Cisneros has taken the lead with 50.2% of the vote, just ahead of Kim's 49.8%. The two are separated by fewer than a thousand votes.

Should Cisneros' lead hold up, it will be yet another Democratic win in the week and a half since Election Day and would further increase the Democratic gains in the House of Representatives. The party won control of the chamber from Republicans for the first time since losing it in the 2010 midterm elections.

Kim, who had led the race since election night, would be the first Korean-American woman sent to the House, if elected. A former staffer for Royce, Kim has emphasized her immigrant experience throughout the race.

But the district is more than a third Latino and encompasses parts of Orange and Los Angeles counties. The racially diverse areas of those counties and high Latino turnout could push the district to Cisneros, a former Navy officer.

Vote counts are still pending in California's 45th, 48th and 49th districts as well, where margins remain too thin to calculate projections. Democrats lead in all those races.

In the 45th District, Democrat Katie Porter leads with 51.2% of the vote to Republican incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters' 48.8%.

Conservative stalwart Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who has represented the 48th District for nearly 30 years, trails Democratic challenger Harley Rouda by 47.1% to 52.9%.

And in the 49th District, Democrat Mike Levin is leading Republican Diane Harkey by 55% to 45% for retiring GOP Rep. Darrell Issa's post.