HomePolitics2 key races in California to watch on Super Tuesday

2 key races in California to watch on Super Tuesday

California Assemblyperson Evan Low and newcomer Derek Tran, both Democrats, seek to advance into the general election in their races for Congress on Super Tuesday.

Low is running in California’s 16th Congression district to replace retiring 16-term incumbent Anna Eshoo who was first elected in 1992.

Tran is running in the 45th Congressional District in Orange County, a seat held by two-time incumbent Michelle Steel. She is one of four Korean Americans currently serving in the House of Representatives.

If Tran wins, he will flip the seat from red to blue and could potentially help give the House back to the Democrats. Currently Republicans hold a 219 to 213 seat advantage.

Tran has raised $641,000 for his campaign, according to Open Secrets. That’s the second highest among six candidates. However, that’s well behind Steel who has raised $4.2 million.

The top two vote getters advance to the general election regardless of party.

Other candidates in the 45th District race include Cheyenne Hunt, Kim Nguyen-Penaloza, Adityai Pai and Jimmy Phan. They are all Democrats. The party has a 5.7% voter registration advantage, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Nguyen-Penaloza is the daughter of a Vietnamese refugee father and Mexican immigrant mother. She has received the endorsement of the Democratic Party. She was elected to the Garden Grove City Council in 2016 but lost in 2022 for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She has raised $312,000.

Tran is a worker’s right attorney and Army veteran. This is the Vietnamese Americans first run for public office.

Aditya Pai is an immigrant from India and an attorney. He says his priorities are to end corruption in Washington and to make Orange County more affordable.

Cheyenne Hunt is a policy analyst in the state legislature. She is a daughter of a Syrian refugee and at age 26, would be the first Gen Z woman elected to Congress.

Evan Low
via Evan Low for Congress

In Santa Clara Valley’s 16th District race, Low is facing off with former San Jose Mayor San Liccardo as well as tech entrepreneur Peter Dixon. He has raised 2.7 million to Liccardo’s 2.1 million, reports ABC7.

Low follows with $1.4 million, ahead of the fourth candidate, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian at $941,000.

Liccardo, Low and Simitian are all familiar to voters, but can they overcome the fundraising advantage held by Dixon.

He says being outside the political advantage make him the ideal candidate to shake up Washington. Liccardo cites his experience establishing good relations with Washington as an advantage while Simitian says he will work to get Washington to understand the unique housing challenges California faces with its high home prices.

Low says he is part of a new generation of leadership.

“Helping to show that we reflect the values of protecting reproductive freedom, public safety, environmental change, and helping to make sure that we have an environment, a society that we want to be conducive for everyday California,” Low said.

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