Former state legislator Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight of Palmdale, both Republicans, were the top two finishers in the race to succeed Rep. Howard P. Buck McKeon and will face off in a November runoff.
Strickland edged Knight in a field of eight candidates -- four Republicans, two Democrats, a Libertarian and an independent -- trying to replace McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), one of six members of the California House delegation who decided not to seek reelection this year.
McKeon endorsed Strickland, who lost a race in a neighboring congressional district in 2012.
The district still leans Republican, but the campaign arm of the House Democrats is keeping a close eye on it and would like to eventually wrest it from the GOP.
The district lies mainly in the northern reaches of Los Angeles County, including Palmdale and Lancaster, but also slices into Simi Valley in Ventura County.