In Silicon Valley’s fierce competition, Congressman Alex Lee leads the pack

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In a tight race for a coveted seat in the California assembly, Reps Alex Lee and Bob Brunton appear headed for a November runoff.

As of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, state election results showed Lee leading the field of five candidates with 40.4% of the vote.

He was followed by Brunton with 21.1% of the vote and Kansen Chu, the former district representative, with 18.4%. The other candidates in the running were Teresa Keng with 10.8% and Lan Diep with 9.3% of the vote.

This is the second time Lee and Brunton have competed.

“People power prevails,” Lee told San Jose Spotlight during an election night party. “In addition to all my opponents taking corporate money, we still have a strong showing in our district. We will continue to work towards the elections in the fall, no matter who our opponent is. We’ll keep knocking on doors, we’ll see our base getting closer.”

The candidates are vying for California Assembly District 24, which was formed during the 2020 redistricting and includes Fremont, Milpitas, Newark and the Berryessa area of ​​north San Jose. Just over half of the voters are Asian Americans. The Silicon Valley seat is held by Lee, who won in 2020 after his predecessor Chu left the legislature to run unsuccessfully for district head. Two years later, Chu challenged Lee about his old seat back.

Lee, who became the first openly bisexual member of the California State Assembly, said he wants to remain focused on the housing crisis by supporting the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act and addressing the impact of COVID-19.

At 26, Lee, a progressive Democrat, is the youngest member of the state assembly.

Lee received $355,395 im posts this year and gained support from Among them were Congressmen Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo and Jimmy Panetta, State Sens. Bob Wieckowski and Dave Cortese, and Reps Ash Kalra, Evan Low and Marc Berman.

Brunton, 64, the only Republican in the race, also sought the 2020 assembly seat. He made it through the November runoff, running against Lee. He served on the Ohlone College Board of Trustees for 12 years.

Brunton focused his campaign on increasing public trust in government, reducing college debt and promising to host community forums. He has not reported campaign contributions and is supported by the Santa Clara County Republican Party.

Chu, also a longtime Democrat, is a board member for the Berryessa Union School District and previously served as an assemblyman for District 25 from 2014-2020. Chu, 69, also served as a San Jose council member from 2007 to 2014, returning to the Berryessa board after its failed oversight campaign in 2020.

Chu’s campaign aimed to strengthen public safety, increase funding to alleviate the state’s homelessness crisis, and improve transportation services.

According to his most recent campaign records, Chu raised $193,495 that year. He received support from Fremont councilors Teresa Cox, Rick Jones, Raj Salwan and Yang Shao, all five Newark councilors, Milpitas councilors Evelyn Chua and Carmen Montano, and Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran.

Diep, a former Republican who faced criticism for registering as a Democrat, was elected to the San Jose City Council in 2016 and lost his seat after one term. His campaign this year focused on public safety, housing affordability and health care, according to his website.

Diep has reported $46,279 in campaign contributions this year and is supported by New Politics, a nonpartisan organization that supports veteran officials.

Keng, a Democrat councilor in Fremont, said she wants to see rent reduction programs for small businesses, address crimes against the Asian community and expand STEM programs. She is also a small business owner.

Keng, 46, raised $152,078 in campaign funds this year and has support from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Santa Clara councilors Kevin Park, Kathy Watanabe, and Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, among others.

The top two voters will go head-to-head in the November 8 general election.

Contact Annalize Freimarck at [email protected] or follow @annalise_ellen on twitter.

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