As the top two frontrunners in the June 7 state primary election, Democrat Asif Mahmood and U.S. Rep. Young Kim, a Republican, appear likely to face off in November for California’s 40th Congressional District.
Mahmood is currently leading with 40.2 percent of the vote, compared to Kim’s 33.5, according to updated unofficial results June 8. Republican Greg Raths currently has 24.8 percent.
The district is one of a few swing seats in the House of Representatives and could decide which party takes the majority in November.
New district boundaries were redrawn in December, and now include Rancho Mission Viejo, Chino Hills, and part of Corona. It also includes portions of former districts 39 and 45. Additionally, the district also now includes parts of Irvine.
Raths, a pro-Trump “America First” candidate endorsed by the California Republican Assembly, told The Epoch Times June 8 that Kim—who is endorsed by the California Republican Party—spent several million dollars on attack ads against him, when she discovered he was gaining ground in the race.
“She just went bonkers and spent $3.7 million in TV, radio, and everything else—internet, social media,” he said.
Kim, who was sworn into office in January of 2021, lost support among many supporters when she voted, along with a dozen Republicans and all Democrats to censure then President Donald Trump after the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
“So that hurt her right off the bat with her Republican constituents and her Trump followers. She kind of got branded a Never-Trumper,” Raths said.
At the time, she told CNN she favored censuring Trump rather than impeaching him.
Kim also voted to remove U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) from all House committees.
“She was playing to her base in the district she’s in now, the 39th, which is heavily Democrat. Little did she know two years later, after redistricting, she would be running in a very Republican district,” Raths said.
Kim and Mahmood did not respond to requests for comment.
The county registrar will be updating primary results on weekdays at 5 p.m. Results must be certified by July 7. The general election will be held Nov. 8.