Young Kim flips another seat in California, GOP now +8 in the House

This race was called last night by the Associated Press. Like the Michelle Steel race, this one has been looking good for days but it was close enough that we had to wait. Now it’s in the books as the 11th flipped seat for the GOP so far:

Republican challenger Young Kim has unseated Democratic Rep. Gil Cisneros in a tight rematch for the 39th congressional district, flipping back a second local House seat that Republicans lost to Democrats in 2018…

Cisneros issued a statement saying “the voters have spoken” after latest results showed Kim with 50.6% of the vote. While there were still several thousand mail-in and provisional ballots left to tally across the three counties that touch CA-39, both candidates said the math made it clear that Kim had won the race.

This result this year is the reverse of what happened in 2018 when Kim narrowly lost the seat to Cisneros after an early lead:

When the two first squared off for the seat, in 2018, Cisneros trailed Kim on election night by 3,900 votes, leading to early announcements that Kim had become the first Korean American woman in Congress. But early results have traditionally favored Republicans in California elections. And over the next few days, as mail-in ballots were tabulated into the total, Cisneros pulled ahead. More than a week later he was declared the winner, beating Kim by 3.2 percentage points, or 7,611 votes.

This year it was Cisneros that led on election night and Kim who slowly chipped away at that lead.

This win means the GOP has flipped 11 seats. Since the Democrats have flipped 3, that brings the net gain for the GOP to +8. Note that if you look at the NY Times House results page it has not been updated to show the win by Nicole Malliotakis in NY-11 even though Rep. Max Rose has conceded the race.

So what’s next? There are still two very close races in California. CA-21 is looking like another pickup for the GOP. Greater than 98% of the vote is in and David Valadao has a 2,257 vote lead over Rep. TJ Cox. The other seat is much closer. In CA-25, GOP Rep. Mike Garcia is hanging on to a slim 104 vote lead over Democratic challenger Christy Smith. This is a seat that Garcia won in a special election after Katie Hill resigned. According to CBS Los Angeles, it is “unclear how many ballots remain to be counted.” So we’ll just have to wait and see on this one.

In all there are 13 races left to be called and 7 of those are in New York. As of this morning, the GOP leads in 9 of those 13 races.

Finally, Kim was gracious in victory. She posted this video after her win last night. It’s nice to hear a winner say something positive about America: “As an immigrant to America, I know that the promise of America is alive. America is a country where an immigrant girl from South Korea can rise to be your representative in the United States Congress. Thank you for your faith in me and let’s get to work for the 39th District.”