HomeKorean AmericanYoung Kim's Lead Disappears in Close California Congressional Race
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Young Kim’s Lead Disappears in Close California Congressional Race

Young Kim poses with first time Congressional Reps

Views from the Edge

A grim faced Young Kim took her place on the capitol steps Wednesday (Nov. 14) to have her picture taken along with the other first-time Congress members who had just won their Nov. 6 elections. She stood behind fellow Korean American Andy Kim (no relation), who had just been proclaimed the winner in his congressional race for New Jersey.

Republican Young Kim knew full well that her lead to represent California’s District 39 was tenuous. In the morning she led Democrat rival Gil Cisneros by only 122 votes. By the end of the day, Cisneros had taken the lead.

Cisneros, a Navy veteran, had 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.

Young Kim, who was poised to become the first Korean American woman in Congress, got cold water splashed on her face Thursday morning as she learned, as the ongoing count of absentee and mail-in ballots in California’s 39th District (Orange County) showed her ahead of Democrat Gil Cisneros by the tiniest margin so far – 122 votes, according to figures released by election officials in Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

Cisneros trailed by 839 votes in counting completed Tuesday.

Kim, a former state assemblywoman and an aide to outgoing Rep. Ed Royce, led by nearly 4,000 votes when the polls closed on Nov. 6th.

Young Kim’s campaign also asserted that its candidate’s initial lead should be reflected in the results of the remaining mail-in and provisional ballots, adding that “anything falling significantly outside of those percentages could reflect foul play,” taking the apparent Republican position posed by Donald Trump in the close senatorial and governors races in Georgia and Florida.

A spokesman for the Orange County Registrar’s office told the Los Angeles Times no one had attempted to alter any ballots.

While Young Kim attended the orientation for first-time members of Congress in Washington, Cisneros stayed at home to monitor the vote counting.

Kim’s camp and Trump asserts that late votes are coming out of thin air with the implication that voter fraud is taking place. So what happened?

On Thursday at 4:01 p.m., Young Kim held a slim lead over Cisneros.

Kim, Young early November 15

An hour later she had lost that lead.

Kim, Young results late November 15

California encourages voting. Voters are allowed to register up to and including the day to vote. In addition, mail-in ballots are accepted up to the Friday after election day as long as they are postmarked on Nov. 6. Then, of course, the mail-in votes and other provisional votes must be counted by hand.The process takes time, but every vote is counted. Democracy wins.AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.


  1. RE: Young Kim’s Lead Disappears in Close California Congressional Race: And true to form Kim parrots talking points about voter fraud based on nothing but Republican conspiracy theories. I’m glad she lost .


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