Republican Rep. Ed Royce of Fullerton, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1993, announced in January that this term would be his last. The opening in California’s 39th Congressional District, covering parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, has been a prime target for a Democratic pickup after Hillary Clinton won the district by 8.5 percentage points in 2016.
Former Royce staffer and Republican state Assemblywoman Young Kim quickly picked up his endorsement. She’ll face Navy veteran Gil Cisneros, a lottery-winner-turned-philanthropist who outlasted a crowded field of Democrats in the primary. His campaign was dogged earlier by a sexual harassment allegation, which the woman later recanted. Cisneros has loaned his campaign $8.8 million since last year, according to campaign finance filings. The candidates are in a dead heat, according to a recent poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
District voters are most concerned about healthcare, the economy, taxes and gun laws, according to the IGS poll.