The filing period for the 39th Congressional District ended with 20 would-be candidates completing the filing process to seek the seat held by retiring Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton.
The seven Republicans to complete filing Wednesday include Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, former Assemblywoman Young Kim, who has been endorsed by Royce, former state Sen. Bob Huff, La Mirada Councilman Andrew Sarega and Brea Councilman Steve Vargas.
The nine Democrats to complete the filing process include health educator and entrepreneur Andy Thorburn, Gil Cisneros, an education advocate who won a record $266 million in the Mega Millions lottery in 2010, Sam Jammal, who worked in the Commerce Department during the Obama administration and was associate manager and regulatory counsel for the electric carmaker Tesla in 2017, and Harvard-educated pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran.
Jay Chen, a member of the Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees who finished second to Royce in 2012, had taken out papers to run, but announced Tuesday he would not be a candidate “to help consolidate the Democratic vote and give us a better chance of winning this crucial seat.”
“With the stakes being what they are, this was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Chen wrote on his Facebook page.
Another Democrat who had begun the filing process, Phil Janowicz, the CEO of an education consulting firm, announced Wednesday he would not be a candidate.
Some Democratic Party officials have expressed concern that the district is among those with too many Democrats filing to run, thus splitting the vote and allowing Republicans to take the top two places and leave the Democrats without a candidate in the November general election.
The top two candidates in all state and federal races will advance to the general election, regardless of party.
There are two candidates without a party preference and two from the American Independent Party.
The district includes portions of eastern Los Angeles County, northern Orange County and Chino Hills and a portion of Chino in southwestern San Bernardino County.
The initial filing deadline for offices on the June 5 primary ballot was Friday, but was extended to Wednesday in races where the incumbent was eligible to run for re-election, but chose not to.
Election officials will determine if each potential candidate has submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. The official list of candidates is scheduled to be released March 29 by the Secretary of State’s Office.
—City News Service
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