IRVINE (CBSLA/AP) — Republican congressional candidate Young Kim is hoping to make history this week.
Kim, 55, would be the first Korean-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives if she defeats her Democratic opponent Gil Cisneros for the open seat in California’s 39th Congressional District in Tuesday’s election.
Kim, who immigrated to the U.S. from her birth country of South Korea in 1975, is running neck in neck with Cisneros for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Ed Royce.
A former legislator who worked for Royce for years, Kim is running as a President Trump supporter with an independent streak. But she has been cautious about mentioning the president at a time when polls show college-educated women are fleeing Trump’s GOP. She never mentioned him in her remarks at the rally.
“We are in it to win it,” she told her volunteers.
At a rally in a parking lot outside a campaign office where volunteers were working the phones, she also urged support for GOP nominee for governor, John Cox, who has been trailing Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in polls and fundraising in a state where Democrats hold every statewide office, both chambers of the Legislature and a 3.7 million edge in voter registrations.
“Can you imagine Gavin Newsom being our governor?” she asked, eliciting loud boos and shouts from the crowd with the mention of the Democratic candidate.
Kim urged a crowd of cheering supporters waving signs to get to the polls or mail in a ballot as soon as possible, warning them, “It could be your vote” that makes a difference on Election Day.
“It’s all going to come down to a few votes,” she said.
The 39th District includes parts of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)