Ro Khanna plans another crack at unseating fellow Democrat Mike Honda

Ro Khanna plans another crack at unseating fellow Democrat Mike Honda
Democrat Ro Khanna, right, speaks a 2014 candidates forum with Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose). Khanna is challenging Honda again this year. (Jim Gensheimer / Associated Press)

Former Obama administration official Ro Khanna is planning a rematch with veteran Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), setting up a possible repeat of last year's close, high-spending and often-bitter contest between members of the same party.

Khanna, 38,  has scheduled a campaign kickoff announcement event Saturday in the Bay Area city of Santa Clara.

The son of immigrants from India and a Yale Law School graduate, Khanna spent some $4.4 million to try to convince voters it was time for a change and for fresh ideas they could not get with Honda, 73.

Although he had a smaller campaign treasury, Honda, who spent $3.4 million, beat Khanna, 51.8% to 48.2%.  Honda had broad support among the state's Democratic Party leadership, while many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs lined up behind Khanna.

Khanna's news release about Saturday's campaign announcement said he has remained active in several district concerns, including a manufacturing initiative for San Jose and landfill issues in Milpitas.

He also has promised to "tour every city in the district to discuss his vision for Washington to residents in our neighborhoods, immediately following the announcement."

"Mike Honda welcomes the challenge and believes his long history of serving the district honorably and with principle will outweigh the determination of the wealthy interests backing his overly ambitious challenger," Adam Alberti of the Honda campaign said Thursday.

Alberti noted that Khanna, of Fremont, has been running for one congressional seat or another "for more than a decade."

Khanna unsuccessfully challenged another Bay Area Democrat incumbent, then-Rep. Tom Lantos, in the 2004 primary and raised money for a 2012 campaign against then-Rep. Pete Stark, also a Democrat, before dropping his bid.  (Stark was defeated that year by Democrat  Eric Swalwell of Dublin.)

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