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Mike Honda Declares Candidacy for Ninth Term in CA-17

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) has announced that he will be seeking a ninth term in Congress in 2016.

“I said I was planning to run in my victory speech last November…I want to continue to be a voice of experience and reason in Congress and have a fire in my belly that continues to make me go,” Honda said in an interview this week with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Honda, 73, will face fellow Democratic rival Ro Khanna, 38, once again in the June 2016 primary. Khanna announced he would be running to unseat Honda for a second time three weeks ago, following his marginal 3.6% loss to the incumbent last year.

In March, Honda fell asleep on the House floor as his colleagues debated funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That incident helped Khanna raise over $800,000 in the first quarter of this year; much of those funds came from his initial funders who pushed him to run a second time.

Khanna’s “Fresh Ideas, New Energy” campaign slogan is directly aimed at the elder Honda. The former Obama trade official has tremendous backing from elites in Silicon Valley’s tech sector and is seeking to garner votes from young people.

Honda is of Japanese descent and Khanna has Indian roots. The 17th Congressional district is heavily Asian-American and this race has the potential to divide the community between the East Asian and South Asian populations.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.

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