• Wed. Oct 4th, 2023


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Young Kim of California Survives Her House Primary

Representative Young Kim of California, a Republican who is one of the first Korean American women in Congress, advanced to the general election in November after a hard-fought primary that became one of the most expensive races in the state.

Ms. Kim was one of the top vote-getters in the June 7 House primary, according to The Associated Press. California’s primaries are open — all candidates, regardless of party, run on the same ballot and the top two vote-getters advance to the November general election.

Ms. Kim will now face Asif Mahmood, a Democrat and a physician who is focusing on abortion access, in November in California’s 40th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Orange and San Bernardino Counties.

Ms. Kim currently represents another district, the 39th, where she captured her seat as a moderate Republican in 2020. The district was redrawn and now includes far more Republicans. Ms. Kim and other Republicans have been vying to reclaim Orange County, a decades-long Republican stronghold that shifted to the left during the Trump administration.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Ms. Kim focused on her Republican opponent, Greg Raths, a councilman in Mission Viejo who is also a retired combat fighter pilot. Ms. Kim was backed by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with the Republican leadership, which had called her race a “must win” for November. The super PAC and Ms. Kim’s campaign spent about $1.2 million on Republican television ads attacking Mr. Raths.

One ad from Ms. Kim’s campaign accused Mr. Raths of raising taxes and saying he is “just like Biden and the liberals.” Mr. Raths, for his part, frequently reminded Republican voters that Ms. Kim had voted to censure former President Donald J. Trump and remove Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, from congressional committees.

Mr. Mahmood, the Democrat, released an ad portraying Mr. Raths as too conservative on abortion, a move that some thought could raise the Republican’s profile and, in the state’s open-primary system, edge Ms. Kim out of the general election.