Incumbent Silicon Valley Democrat congressman Mike Honda will go head-to-head in a debate with opponent and fellow Democrat Ro Khanna, if the two are the last men standing after the June 3 primary election.
Honda, who recently compared Japanese internment camps to America’s treatment of Muslims, up until now has drawn from the playbook of Senator Feinstein (D-CA), avoiding debate with opponents in fear that he may say something that could work against him. Some believe that his stategy does not well serve the 700,000 plus residents who are represented in the 17th District.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, both Honda and Khanna appeared at a forum at Fremont City Hall, in front of some 300 spectatorss. Also attending was a Republican candidate, executive recruiter Joel Vanlandingham. Not in attendance was Republican candidate and physician, Vanila Singh who has assumed a stealth approach of avoiding almost all forums in hopes that everybody will cancel each other out, paving the way for her entrance into the general election.
Honda, a Japanese internment victim under FDR’s program during WWII, has maintained a House seat since 2000. Nevertheless, he has his work cut out for him in November because Indian-American Khanna, a former Commerce official in the Obama administration, has raised almost twice as much money as Honda ($3.7 million to $1.9 million). Moreover, Khanna will enjoy advantages from the shifting demographics of the high-profile Silicon Valley District.
Although a debate between two Silicon Valley Democrats mights prove to be interesting, in reality both candidates share the same liberal views. According to the San Jose Mercury News both candidates are pro-abortion and support comprehensive immigration reform, including pathways for citizenship for those who come into this country illegally.
Honda recalled in the forum that “From my earliest memories in an internment camp to the two years I spent in the Peace Corps in El Salvador, I have not lost faith in our government…I am continuously trying to provide a voice for those people who don’t have a voice.”
Meanwhile Khanna admits that there are good people in Congress, “but the system is broken and we need new ideas and new energy to move this nation forward.” Since he agrees with Honda on so much, however, it is difficult to ferret out the new ideas.
Vanlandingham, with his advocacy of the right to life, differs somewhat–yet generally agrees with the candidates on the other issues.