IRVINE (CBSLA) – If results holds, Republican Young Kim could make history by becoming the first Korean-American woman elected to the U.S. House.
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday and with all precincts reporting, Young was leading Democrat Gil Cisneros by nearly 3,800 votes in the race for the open 39th congressional district seat, which represents parts of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties including the cities of Fullerton, Buena Park, Diamond Bar and Yorba Linda.
Kim was leading Cisneros by a 76,956 to 73,077 votes, a margin of 51.3 to 48.7 percent. The O.C. Registrar’s Office reported that were still more than 300,000 provisional, late or mail-in ballots still remaining to be counted across the county. It was unclear how many of those were for the 39th district.
Both Kim and Cisneros are vying for the seat held by longtime Republican Rep. Ed Royce, who is stepping aside.
Kim, a South Korean immigrant, worked for Royce for about 20 years before winning a seat in the California state Assembly, where she served a single term. Cisneros, a noted philanthropist, won a $266 million Lottery jackpot in 2010 and injected $9 million of his own money into the race.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the district by eight points in 2016. In 2014, Royce won it by 14 points.
Two years ago, Clinton beat President Donald Trump in Orange County, the first time a Democrat won the county since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That has encouraged Democrats, and for the first time the national organization has sent professionals to Orange County to help elect more Democrats to Congress.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)