Dem Gil Cisneros scores win in open-seat race in California

Dem Gil Cisneros scores win in open-seat race in California
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Democrat Gil Cisneros is projected to win the open-seat race for California’s 39th District, a critical victory for Democrats in the battle for the House.

Cisneros, a Navy veteran, defeated former Republican state Assemblywoman Young Kim in the race to replace 13-term Rep. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceBottom line Bottom line California was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success MORE (R-Calif.).

The Associated Press called the race for Cisneros Saturday, more than a week after the election.

Royce’s retirement opened up a seat that was viewed as one of Democrats' best chances to pick up a House seat.

Cisneros's victory further solidifies Republicans' massive losses in Orange County and Southern California. Democrats Josh Harder, Katie Hill, Katie Porter, Harley Rouda and Mike Levin won California's 10th, 25th, 45th, 48th and 49th Districts, respectively.


Cisneros and his wife won the lottery in 2010 and have since become philanthropists. The California Democrat poured in $8 million of his own money into his bid for the northern Orange County district.

The 39th District has been a huge target for Democrats as one of the seven GOP-held California seats that Clinton won in 2016. The majority-minority seat has a large Hispanic and Asian population.

Kim, who was a longtime aide for Royce, was aiming to become the first Korean-American woman in Congress.