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Honda, Khanna Duel for Endorsements in Fiery Rematch

Democratic rivals Ro Khanna and Rep. Mike Honda are engaged in a heated battle for the the eight-term incumbent congressman’s seat.

Both, the San Francisco Chronicle notes, are competing for endorsements, culminating with the California Democratic Party’s backing during next month’s convention in San Jose.

Khanna, 39, who is facing Honda, 74, for a second time after losing by just four percentage points during the November of 2014 elections, has so far earned the backing of State Senate President Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles), San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen and longtime Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone. Meanwhile, Honda has countered Khanna with endorsements from Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison, Newark Mayor Al Nagy, Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews, and Sunnyvale Mayor Jim Griffith.

Another lesser-known but key endorsement for Khanna also came in last month from the regional laborers union, which switched its endorsement of Honda to Khanna, according to the Chronicle.

Labor has been a reliable source of support throughout Honda’s political career.

According to the Chronicle, Khanna has already prevented Honda from receiving an automatic endorsement from the Democratic Party. So far, 24 of the 17th Congressional District’s 87 convention delegates have signed a petition against giving Honda the automatic endorsement, forcing him to face a special pre-endorsement conference next weekend.

The last Silicon Valley race turned out to be one of the most expensive in the Golden State. It will likely be the same this coming election cycle. The San Jose Mercury News notes that Khanna has so far outraised Honda. He clocked in at around $1.7 million for his campaign war chest as of December 31, compared to $550,000 for Honda during that same time.

Republican Ron Cohen, 56, who is from Fremont like Khanna, entered the race for Honda’s 17th Congressional District seat this past November. According to ibabuzz.com, Cohen–an international tax partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co.–is a self-described fiscal and social conservative and is seeking to provide a counterpoint to both his Democratic rivals.

However, it is possible and highly likely that Khanna and Honda will face off once again, as a consequence of California’s recently-adopted “jungle” primary system which allows for the top two political candidates to face off, regardless of political party.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.

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