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Civics & Democracy

Asif Mahmood Concedes House Race to Young Kim

Side-by-side headshots of U.S. Rep. Young Kim and her Democratic challenger Dr. Asif Mahmood. Kim is a woman of Asian descent with short brown hair, wearing a white blouse with a necklace. Mahmood, a middle-aged mad with light brown skin, salt-and-pepper hair and a mustache, is seen wearing a white lab coat with a stethoscope draped around his neck.
Republican U.S. Rep. Young Kim fended off a challenge from her Democratic challenger, Dr. Asif Mahmood.
(Young Kim for Congress website; Asif Mahmood for Congress website)
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Democrat Asif Mahmood on Friday morning conceded the race for the 40th Congressional District to Republican incumbent Young Kim, who has a 17-point lead in the latest vote count.

Why it matters: In the close battle for control of the House, Kim's predicted victory secures another seat for the Republicans.

What the candidates are saying: Kim declared victory on Thursday night, saying: "I will fight every day to be your common sense voice in Congress, break through the partisan gridlock and deliver results for #CA40." The district sits mostly in Orange County but also includes parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

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In an e-mail, Mahmood said he had called Kim Friday morning. "I know this campaign did not go as we had hoped, but I wish for Young Kim’s success because she will represent all of us in this district: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents," he said.

The backstory: The 40th district was newly-drawn during last year's redistricting. Mahmood, a Pakistani American physician, faced an uphill battle against the better-known Kim, who was coming off her first term as one of the first Korean American women to join Congress. The new district is more conservative than Kim's previous one, with Republicans leading Democrats in voter registration by about five points.

Kim had campaigned against illegal immigration and for bringing down inflation. Mahmood also prioritized inflation and advocated for reproductive rights.

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