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Weeks after primary election, gay candidate Evan Low advances to general for California congressional seat

Author: Trudy Ring

An unusual primary result means Californians have a chance to send another out representative to the U.S. House.

The state’s primary was held March 5, but official results in the close race in the 16th Congressional District, located in Silicon Valley, just came in this week. Evan Low, a gay man who’s currently in the California Assembly, tied for second place with Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, with 30,249 votes each, or 16.6 percent. Now both will advance to November’s general election, along with former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who finished first with 38,489 votes, or 21.1 percent.

Under California’s system, candidates from all parties run against each other in the primary, and the top two vote recipients advance to the general election, regardless of party — or, in the case of tie for second, the top three. These three are all Democrats in a heavily Democratic district, and this is the first tie for second since the top-two system was put in place in 2012, the San Francisco Chroniclereports. A total of 11 candidates ran in the primary.

“I am honored to have won the support of our community to advance to the general election to replace the esteemed Anna Eshoo for Congress now that the Registrars of Voters have certified the results,” Low wrote on X, formerly Twitter. Eshoo, a fellow Democrat, is retiring after 30 years in the U.S. House.

Low was first elected to the Assembly in 2014 at age 30, making him the youngest Asian American elected to the body up to that time. He began his political career on the Campbell, Calif., City Council, to which he was elected in 2006 as its first Asian American member. He was elected mayor of Campbell in 2010, becoming the youngest out LGBTQ+ mayor in the U.S.

There are already two out members of the California congressional delegation, Robert Garcia and Mark Takano, both from the southern part of the state. Both are running for reelection. Another gay candidate, Will Rollins, is challenging incumbent Republican Ken Calvert in the 41st Congressional District, also in Southern California.

Low had the endorsement of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, among many others. “Evan Low’s strong showing in this multi-candidate primary proves that he’s earned the confidence of Silicon Valley voters based on his long record of service to this region,” Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker said in a press release. “Not only is Evan’s victory a testament to the excellent campaign he ran, it’s a sign of the excellence his constituents can expect from him as their voice in Washington. LGBTQ+ Americans are woefully underrepresented at all levels of government — including Congress — and Evan’s primary performance is a major milestone to celebrate. LGBTQ+ Victory Fund is all-in in our commitment to ensuring a victory this November.”

He also was endorsed by Equality PAC, the political action arm of the Congressional Equality Caucus. “Sometimes democracy takes a moment to work, and in this case, we are very excited to see Evan advance to the November general election as he works to secure the votes to represent California’s 16th Congressional District in the House,” said a statement from Takano and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, the cochairs of Equality PAC. “Like so many other candidates across the nation, Equality PAC came in early to support Evan among a crowded primary field. Every endorsement, every door knocked, every phone call truly made the difference in this race, and Equality PAC was there every step of the way. Evan’s primary race represents the impact Equality PAC can have on races across the nation as we work to boost more LGBTQ candidates that will help advance our equality agenda. As Evan begins this unique three-person race for Congress, we remain confident in his ability to show voters why he is the best candidate to represent them in Washington. Evan has been an LGBTQ leader in California, and we need him to be part of our new pro-equality majority in the House.”

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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