Republican Young Kim wins election to U.S. House in California’s 39th Congressional District

First time Republican candidate for US Congress Young Kim, 55, poses for a portrait at her campaign office in Yorba Linda, California, October 6, 2018. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images)

Republican Young Kim won the election to U.S. House in California’s 39th Congressional District, beating incumbent Rep. Gil Cisneros.

Rep. Gil Cisneros conceded to Kim after he fell behind by 4,145 votes in their rematch in the 39th Congressional District, according to figures released Friday by the Secretary of State's Office.

Kim leads 50.6%-49.4% and 172,253-168,108 in the district, which runs from Walnut in the north to Chino Hills in the east, Hacienda Heights in the west and Fullerton in the south.

"I called to congratulate Young Kim on her victory,'' Cisneros, D-Yorba Linda, said in a statement released at 6:45 p.m. Friday.

"I wish her nothing but the best and hope she will stay true to her word and protect those with preexisting conditions, work to lower prescription drug prices and reinstate the SALT deduction.''

The state and local tax deduction permits taxpayers who itemize when filing federal taxes to deduct certain taxes paid to state and local governments.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 22, 2017, capped it at $10,000 per year, consisting of property taxes plus state income or sales taxes, but not both.

In a video released on her Twitter account, Kim thanked her campaign's volunteers and contributors, then said, "Whoever you voted for in this election, I hope you know that regardless of any difference we may have I will always work on your behalf and fight for you.''

"Our community is such a wonderful place because we come together to look out for one another,'' Kim said. "I will take that spirit with me to represent you in Washington D.C.''

Kim, R-La Habra, has promised to work to ensure Americans have access to quality and affordable health care that can help them through the coronavirus pandemic, work with federal officials to minimize the damage of the pandemic and put in place guardrails to prevent a resurgence or future pandemic.

Kim has said she will work with her colleagues to study the early missteps responding to the pandemic and invest in emergency preparedness. Kim said she will work on bipartisan legislation that invests in the economy, gives small businesses the resources they need to recover and brings jobs back quickly.

Kim has also pledged to "find bipartisan solutions to fix our broken health care system,'' "ensure our economy has the support it needs to bounce back stronger than ever,'' "stand up against Sacramento-style policies that raise taxes, hurt small businesses and kill jobs'' and "ensure we lessen the burden of taxes on struggling families and business to make life more affordable and allow our communities to thrive.''

Kim's victory avenges her loss to Cisneros in 2018 when she was leading in the vote count and traveled to Washington, D.C., for orientation for newly elected House members, only to be overtaken by Cisneros in late-arriving ballots.

Cisneros won 51.6%-48.4%, 126,002-118,391, in 2018 to succeed Rep. Ed
Royce, R-Fullerton, who held the seat from 1993-2019. Kim had been a member of Royce's staff.

Cisneros' concession came three days Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Newport Beach, conceded defeat to Board of Supervisors Chair Michelle Steel in the coastal 48th Congressional District.

When Kim is sworn-in she will join Steel and Marilyn Strickland, D-Washington, as the first Korean-American women in the House.

Kim was born in Incheon, South Korea on Oct. 18, 1962, and spent her childhood in Seoul. She and her family left South Korea in 1975, living first
in Guam, where she finished junior high school, and then Hawaii, where she
attended high school.

Kim has a bachelor's degree in business administration from USC. She was a member of Royce's staff for 21 years, both when he was a state senator and a Congressman, as his community liaison and director of Asian affairs.

Kim defeated Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, in 2014, becoming the first Korean-American Republican woman elected to the Legislature.

She lost a rematch to Quirk-Silva in 2016.

"As an immigrant to America, I know that the promise of America is alive,'' Kim said. "America is a country where an immigrant girl from South Korea can rise to be a representative in the United States Congress.

"I will work to continue to keep that promise alive.''