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Korean American narrowly defeated in US Congress election

LOS ANGELES/WASHINGTON -- Republican candidate Young Kim, who was expected to become the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress, has been defeated by Democratic rival Gil Cisneros in California's 39th district, a report said Saturday.

The South Korea-born politician took the lead in initial vote counting in the Nov. 6 election. But she lost to Cisneros by 1.6 percentage point as of 8:00 p.m. after mail-in ballots were counted, according to the Associated Press. 

Republican candidate for Congress Young Kim(Yonhap)
Republican candidate for Congress Young Kim(Yonhap)

They competed to succeed Republican Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in the district, which includes parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties and is two-thirds Asian and Latino.

Despite being home to former Republican President Richard Nixon and traditionally Republican, the district was won by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, in the 2016 presidential race.

In the mid-term election, Korean-American Democrat Andy Kim was elected in New Jersey's third district to serve the House of Representatives.

The only Korean-American Congress member before Andy Kim was Jay Kim, a Republican who represented California's 41st district from 1993 to 1999. (Yonhap)