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Veteran Nikkei Politicians Among Casualties in State Legislative Races

Mailer for State Senate candidate Alan Nakanishi of Lodi.

Mailer for State Senate candidate Alan Nakanishi of Lodi.

Rafu Staff Report

Among the candidates in California elections on Nov. 8, the casualties included four veteran Japanese American politicians.

• In the 17th Congressional District, Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) lost to Democratic challenger Ro Khanna, 85,482 votes (38.9 percent) to 134,269 (61.1 percent). This was a rematch of the 2014 election, which Honda narrowly won. Honda has been in office since 2001 and previously served in the State Assembly and on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

During the hard-fought campaign, Khanna, 40, a former deputy assistant secretary of commerce under President Obama, said that Honda, 75, has been in office too long, while Honda emphasized his years of experience and seniority in Congress.

• In State Senate District 35, Warren Furutani fell behind Steven Bradford, 83,611 votes (45.7 percent) to 99,226 (54.3 percent) in the race to succeed Democrat Isadore Hall III, who gave up his seat to run for Congress.

Both candidates are Democrats who served in the State Assembly. Furutani also served on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. Bradford served on the Gardena City Council.

• In State Senate District 5, Republican Alan Nakanishi, a member of the Lodi City Council, lost to the Democratic incumbent, Cathleen Galgiani, 95,477 votes (44.5 percent) to 119,002 (55.5 percent).

Nakanishi is a former member of the Assembly and former mayor of Lodi. His endorsers included the California Republican Party, the California Republican Assembly and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC.

• In State Senate District 3, two Democrats faced off and former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada lost to Assemblymember Bill Dodd, 114,389 votes (41.0 percent) to 164,394 (59.0 percent). Yamada, who also served on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, and Dodd, a former Napa County supervisor and former Republican, were vying for the seat being vacated by Democrat Lois Wolk of Davis, who is termed out.

Meanwhile, two incumbents cruised to victory.

• In the 41st Congressional District, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) defeated Republican challenger Doug Shepherd, 100,818 votes (63.6 percent) to 57,612 (36.4 percent). Takano was first elected in 2012 and served for many years on the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees. He is the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress.

• In the 6th Congressional District, Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) beat Republican challenger Robert Evans, 133,231 votes (75.1 percent) to 44,277 (24.9 percent). Matsui was first elected in 2005 in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Rep. Robert Matsui. She was previously a member of the White House staff during the Clinton Administration.

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