It took eleven days for all the votes to be counted, but Cisneros won the United States Representative seat for the 39th district. Cisneros inched out Young Kim with 50.8% of the vote.
Cisneros released the following statement via cisnerosforcongress.com, “Today’s results from Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties further demonstrate that the people of the 39th District are ready for change and new leadership that will hold the President accountable, protect DREAMers, ensure care for those with pre-existing conditions, and invest in affordable higher education.”
At the victory rally in Buena Park on Nov. 19 the Los Angeles Times reported that Cisneros told the crowd, “This is only the beginning of the hard work. You will definitely have access to me.” Cisneros officially takes office on Jan. 3 in D.C.
Gil Cisneros (D) was up against Young Kim (R) for the vacant seat left by Ed Royce (R), a seat that has been by contested by Democrats since Royce took his seat back from Linda Sanchez (D) in 2012.
The race had an interesting reach across Southern California as the 39th District includes three different counties – Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles and have about 150,000 voters in the district.
Gil Cisneros’ Election Night
On election night, the night ended with Cisneros assuring his supporters at his election party that “39th District is blue,” a statement that proved to be true eleven days later.
The election party for Gil Cisneros was held at the Casa Bonita in Downtown Fullerton. During the night a slide show played near the entrance to the event. The slideshow had candid photos of Cisneros during speaking engagements and interacting with his supports. The slide show also had shots of supporters cheering and holding signs.
Supporter Paul Reeves went canvasing for Cisneros votes during the campaign. This was the first campaign he has volunteered for since high school, Reeves is 70 years old and lives in Fullerton.
“This is the most important election of my life,” Reeves said.
At the Cisneros family table cousin, Anthony Moreno said that the whole family was involved with the campaign. They would all gather to personally fill out post cards to help Gil with the election. The family at the table all agreed and shook their heads when Moreno stated that they were anxious for the results as they were coming in slowly.
The night had consistent mellow energy as the supporters waited for the results to trickle in while they talked and enjoyed the refreshments.
There was a huge boost in energy and cheering when Jacki Cisneros came out to introduce her husband. Jacki expressed her deep gratitude that her father-in-law was able to hear Cisneros being endorsed by President Obama for the election.
Young Kim’s election night
After polls closed on election night, Kim’s supporters at her election party were positive as she was initially ahead in the Orange and San Bernardino County polls despite being behind in Los Angeles County.
Kim’s voters in Orange County held the most weight to propel her up to her victory as San Bernardino and LA only accounted for about 32.5% combined as opposed to Orange that had given Kim about 68% of her votes.
Kim’s election party was located in the STC Center in Rowland Heights that featured diverse with a crowd of loyal supporters that were all intently watching the projectors as the results for the race were being updated. Among the crowd was one of Kim’s main endorsers, the previous representative Ed Royce (R) who served for 13 terms.
History to be made for both
In 2014, Kim was elected as a member of the California State Assembly for the 65th district, unseating Sharon Quirk-Silva (D), later losing the chair back to Quirk-Silva in the 2016 elections.
After Royce’s announcement for retirement in January 2018, Kim made it official that she would enter the race to succeed Royce, where he later endorsed Kim the day after his announcement.
Kim would have been the first Korean-American woman to be in Congress and the second (watch for Andy Kim in New Jersey) Korean-American ever to be in Congress in almost 20 years since Jay Kim (R), who also was in the House of Representatives for California in 1999.