LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Incumbent Gil Cisneros could lose California’s 39th Congressional seat that he flipped blue in 2018 to GOP challenger Young Kim.

With 98% of precincts reporting, Kim has 51% of votes to Cisneros’ 44%.

Kim and Cisneros finished well ahead of Steve Cox, the independent challenger in the race. Kim and Cisneros will likely move on to face off in the November general election.

Young Kim told supporters to head home from election night party to prepare for the real work to win the 39th Congressional district in November. (credit: CBSLA)

Despite early results being fairly close, Kim told supporters at her election night party to go home and get some sleep to prepare for the real work leading up to November.

“I want everybody to not be so complacent,” she said. “We’ve got a long marathon ahead of us. The work really begins now.”

Cisneros watched the race from Washington D.C., but Orange County Democratic chair Ada Briceno held down the fort for his supporters in Southern California.

“We’re really proud of his leadership,” she said. “He’s taken up the ACA for all of America, and it’s really crucial for us to keep our healthcare. We have no doubt that his constituents will re-elect him to represent us in D.C.”

OC Democratic Party chair Ada Briceno held down the fort in Southern California for supporters of incumbent Gil Cisneros, who watched the election unfold from D.C. (credit: CBSLA)

In 2018, Cisneros defeated Kim by three percentage points to capture a Republican-held U.S. House seat in Southern California. Kim, a former state legislator, worked for years for retiring Republican Rep. Ed Royce, who vacated the seat in 2018 and had endorsed her.

With Kim’s defeat, four Republican-held House districts all or partly in Orange County, California, a one-time nationally known GOP stronghold southeast of Los Angeles, shifted in one election to the Democratic column. The change meant that the county — Richard Nixon’s birthplace and site of his presidential library — only has Democrats representing its residents in Washington currently.

The 39th Congressional district includes part of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties including the cities of Fullerton, Buena Park, Diamond Bar and Yorba Linda.

Click here for full Super Tuesday election results.

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