Asian American candidates in Calif.

California held its primary elections June 5, resulting in several wins for Asian Americans, while many more were locked out of the November election in the state’s top-two primaries.

Congressional Seats
Several Asian American hopefuls ran to unseat United States Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but the veteran senator held a healthy lead with 43.8 percent of the vote with Democrat Kevin De León securing second place with 11.3 percent. Independent candidates Rash Bihari Ghosh and Ling Ling Shi secured less than one percent of the vote and Republican challenger Arun K. Bhumitra garnered 5.3 percent of the vote.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, several Asian incumbents defended their seats to move on to November. Doris Matsui (District 6), Ami Bera (Dist. 7), Ro Khanna (Dist. 17), Judy Chu (Dist. 27), Ted Lieu (Dist. 33) and Mark Takano (Dist. 41) — all Democrats — maintained more than a 10 percent lead over their challengers. In Khanna’s district, Democrat challenger Democrat Khanh Tran failed to advance to November.

In California’s Central Valley District 22, Democrat former country prosecutor Andrew Janz (32 percent), of Thai descent, will face Republican incumbent Devin Nunes (57.9 percent), the controversial House Intelligence Committee chair.

Meanwhile, Republicans Cristina Osmeña and Elizabeth Heng aim to unseat Democrat incumbents Jackie Speier (Dist. 14) and Jim Costa (Dist. 16) respectively. Republican Young Kim will also face Gil Cisneros for Republican Ed Royce’s open seat in District 39. Democrats Herbert H. Lee and Mai Khanh Tran vied for the seat but failed to stay in the race.

Many other Asian American candidates were knocked out of the race. Raji Rab (Dist. 30), Edwin P. Duterte (Dist. 43), Dave Min (Dist. 45) and Bryan Kim (Dist. 53) failed to secure the top-two position in their districts.

California State
Meanwhile, California’s statewide elections saw a number of Asian American wins and losses.

The state’s gubernatorial race identified Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox as the top two runners, knocking out Shubham Goel, Desmond Silveira, Peter Yuan Liu and John Chiang.

Democrat Betty Yee maintained a healthy lead against her Republican challenger Konstantinos Roditis for state controller and Democrat Fiona Ma will face Republican Greg Conlon for state treasurer. Vivek Viswanathan failed in his bid for treasurer, coming in at fourth with 12.8 percent of the vote.

Former insurance commissioner Steve Poizner secured his ticket to November with Democrat Ricardo Lara, disqualifying Asif Mahmood.

In District 2 of the Board of Equalization race, Barry Chang failed to advance with Malia Cohen and Cathleen Galgiani, all Democrats, moving on to November.

For California state senate races, Democrat Richard Pan (Dist. 6) and Republican Janet Nguyen (Dist. 34) both maintained a healthy lead, moving on to November while Democrat Philip Kim will challenge Republican incumbent James Nielsen in District 4. Nielsen has a 40 percent lead over Kim as of press time.

Mike Eng and Peter Choi, both Democrats vying for open seats in districts 22 and 24 respectively, advanced to November.

Eng led with 43.9 percent of the vote and will face fellow Democrat Susan Rubio who received 27.3 percent of the vote.

Choi, who received 29.9 percent of the vote, faces fellow Democrat Maria Elena Durazo who garnered 70.1 percent of the vote.

Efforts to recall Democrat state Sen. Josh Newman in District 29 succeeded and his former Republican opponent Ling Ling Chang will take his seat, breaking a Democrat supermajority in the Senate.

Most incumbent state Assembly members maintained a healthy lead over their opponents. David Chiu (Assembly District 17), Rob Bonta (AD 18), Phil Ting (AD 19), Vince Fong (AD 34), Kansen Chu (AD 25) and Steven S. Choi (AD 68) all maintained healthy double digit leads. Al Muratsuchi (AD 66) led Republican challenger Frank A. Scotto with a 3.8 percent lead while knocking out Democratic challenger Caney Arnold with 5.8 percent.

Local races
Following the death of San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee in December 2017, the city held an election to formally elect its new mayor. While Board President London Breed secured the most number of first choice ballots, former state Sen. Mark Leno edged her out through the city’s ranked-choice voting system. With 90,000 more ballots to count, the race for San Francisco mayor is still too close to call. This is only a 1,146 ballot difference between the two remaining candidates. Jane Kim stayed in the race until the final eighth pass where she was knocked out at third place. Ellen Lee Zhou was knocked out in the sixth pass.

For San Francisco Superior Court, Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee secured 62.94 percent of the vote for seat 9 of the court. She defeated Kwixuan H. Maloof who garnered 25.72 percent of the vote.

In San Jose, Mayor Sam Liccardo hung on to his seat with a decisive 74.62 percent of the vote, beating out Quangminh Pham who came in third with 7.74 percent of the vote. There will be no runoff.

Santa Clara County will hold a runoff in November. Incumbent Tam Nguyen of District 7 remains in the race and will face Maya Esparza. Van T. Le, Thomas Duong and Hoang “Chris” Le failed to secure the top two spots for the seat. Sheriff Laurie Smith will also face challenger John Hirokawa for Santa Clara County Sheriff.

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