HomePoliticsEvan Low takes lead over Joe Simitian in CA Congressional race

Evan Low takes lead over Joe Simitian in CA Congressional race

By Rachel Lu, AsAmNews Intern

State Assemblyman Evan Low rose to second place in the 16th district congressional race in California to replace U.S. Rep Anna Eshoo who is retiring. With former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo as a clear leader in the election so far, candidates are now contending for the second spot in the November general election.

The race flipped Wednesday evening, with Low ahead of Joe Simitian by merely 59 votes and both candidates currently at 16.7% of votes. Simitian was leading on election night, but Low has been gradually catching up and has now surpassed him

Following the updated vote count, Low expressed gratefulness for voters on X but refrained from making any definitive statements about the race.

“Thank you again to all of the voters who have made their voices heard in this election. While there are still votes left to be counted, I am encouraged by the latest results that have put our campaign in the lead. I am grateful to all of my supporters and look forward to all votes being counted in this race, “ Low posted around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

According to Mercury News, more ballots are expected to be counted in the coming days in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County. Given the razor thin margin between the two candidates, a recount would not be unusual but California has no provision in its election code for an automatic recount in state elections. Either Simitian or Low could request a recount and pay for it.

Political consultant Bill Wong thinks that Low will likely make it to the runoff. 

“Simitian is underperforming in San Mateo county and Evan is doing well in Santa Clara county. In the early voting, older voters surged, but then fell off on Election Day. Younger voters surged on Election Day and they will most likely favor Low, so I expect his lead to grow and get him into the November runoff with Liccardo,” Wong told AsAmNews.

The 45th Congressional District in Southern California is in a similar battle for second place. Incumbent Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) is in a comfortable lead, with Derek Tran in a distant second followed by Kim Nguyen-Penaloza in third.

While Tran had a more promising lead on election day, Wednesday’s vote count showed a smaller margin of 256 votes between Tran and Nguyen-Penaloza, representing a 0.1% difference in vote count between the two candidates.

Both Tran and Nguyen-Penaloza are Democrats hoping to unseat the incumbent Republican Steel in a famously swingy region where voters often behave unexpectedly from conventional political trends, reported Politico. The county is majority Asian American, who are more skeptical of the Republican party and presidential candidate Donald Trump. As a result, while the majority of the California Republican party is planning on backing Trump this year, Steel is one of three GOP members who have yet to publicly disclose her support, according to Politico.

According to Politico, Steel’s office declined to comment on endorsing Trump, but was listed as a delegate for Trump in California’s recent primary. 

It is yet unclear whether Tran or Nguyen-Penaloza will face off against Steel in the general election, but they will certainly be fighting an uphill battle.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


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