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Silicon Valley Rematch: Ro Khanna to Challenge Honda

Former congressional candidate Ro Khanna will try to defeat fellow Democrat and incumbent Rep. Mike Honda–again.

He is slated to make his announcement this Saturday in Santa Clara.
Khanna, 38, lost to Honda, 73, by a mere 3.6% or 4,000 votes in Silicon Valley’s 17th congressional district, where Honda has deep loyalties. The contest nearly split the community down the middle, with multiple ethics complaints, political attacks, and money from unknown donors all thrown into the mix.
During the last campaign cycle, Khanna–a former Obama Administration trade official–had the backing of many powerful tech elites from big names like Yahoo, Google, and Facebook. He also has the support of many local community leaders. It is also likely Khanna will receive the backing of many Republicans, as California’s so-called “jungle primary” allows for two members of the same political party to go head-to-head.
Khanna, who lives in Fremont, was expected to make another attempt at the unseating Honda. Honda, who resides in San Jose, was criticized both for living outside of the district he represents and for dozing off on the House floor before CSPAN cameras as his colleagues debated funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Those controversies, among others, helped Khanna raise over $800,000 in the first quarter via his initial funders who pushed him to run a second time.
The 17th District is heavily Asian-American, but the race has the potential to divide East Asian and South Asian immigrants within the district’s highly-diverse ethnic population.
According to a press release from his PAC, “Khanna will tour every city in the district to discuss his vision for Washington to residents in his neighborhoods, immediately following our announcement.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz


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