Poll returns on Friday remained consistent with results late Tuesday night in favor of Democratic incumbent Congressman Mike Honda, who declared victory in his reelection campaign on Friday. Fellow Democrat Ro Khanna conceded defeat a few hours later, but it is highly doubtful this will be the last Silicon Valley will see of him.
In a contest that split the community nearly down the middle, with multiple ethics complaints, political attacks, and money from unknown donors all thrown into the mix, Honda, 73, reclaimed his title with the announcement that he beat Khanna by approximately 4,000 votes, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Khanna, 38, was touted as Silicon Valley’s favored candidate, receiving endorsements from heavy-hitting tech titans in the region. With the amount of support and attention he’s received over the course of his campaign, Khanna might decide to run for Congress again in two years.
In his victory speech, Honda took several swipes at the former Obama commerce official, referencing the strong tech-sector backing Khanna had with names such as Yahoo, Google, and Facebook. Silicon Valley’s 17th Congressional district, which the men were battling to represent, is the largest Asian-American majority House district outside of Hawaii.
Khanna conceded victory to Honda during his scheduled a 5:45 p.m. conference following the updates on ballot results which confirmed Honda’s win at 5 p.m, according to the Mercury News.
In an address to a crowd of his supporters who gathered at his campaign office near Newark’s New Park Mall, Honda said that Silicon Valley “could not be bought… by millionaires and billionaires… You cannot buy grass roots. You cannot buy it this year, and you can’t buy it next year,” he said. Honda likely meant two years from now, when the next elections will be held.
Honda also said this would “absolutely not” be his last time running, notes the Mercury News.
Khanna declined to comment on Honda’s specific jabs but reportedly described his brief conversation with Honda as “cordial” but “brief.”
Tuesday night brought a major victory for the GOP, marking the first time in eight years that both the House and Senate became a Republican majority. In his speech, Honda said he would continue doing “the same thing I’ve done in the past — work across the aisle to make things happen.”
However, during their only debate in San Jose on October 6, Khanna said Honda’s record points in the exact opposite direction. Khanna said that he would “reach across the aisle” with a bipartisan agenda, in what he said would be “a Republican controlled–unfortunately–Congress.” He also noted that Honda “has one of the most partisan records in Congress…he is not bipartisan.”