It’s Khanna vs Honda II.
One of the most contentious races in the last election pitting Democrat against Democrat, Asian American against Asian American is back.
As expected, Ro Khanna announced his candidacy for the 17th Congressional District in California against long time incumbent Mike Honda.
The Mercury News
reports Khanna’s announcement in Fremont attracted some 200 people, including many local high school students who say they want to have a voice even though they don’t have a vote.
“No one knew who I was” last year, Khanna said in an interview. “Now we’re starting with a strong turnout. We have momentum.”
Khanna outspent Honda last election by $1 million dollars, but was defeated by 3.6 percentage points.
Once again, he’s launching with an early fundraising blitz raising $801,000 last quarter compared to $258,000 by Honda.
With greater name recognition, Khanna may be able this time to save his money for the general election. Last time, he spent much of it just to get past the primary. Under California’s unique system, the top two vote getters in the primary advance to the general election regardless of party.
Honda isn’t wasting anytime going after Khanna. He’s launched a website Ro’s Usual Suspects which is critical of the candidate taking money from billionaire John Arnold, millionaire Marc Leder and former Republican representative Ernie Konnyu who has strong tea party backing.
Khanna sees independent voters as his strength and has pledged not to take money from lobbyists or PACs. Expect him to hammer Honda for falling asleep during a congressional Homeland Security debate in February.