Next Up for Honda, Khanna — Round 2 of Congressional Tussle

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Rep. Mike Honda, Ro Khanna, Vanila Singh and Joel Vanlandingham squared off for two spots on the ballot in the November election. (Mark Wilson/Getty and Courtesy photos)

Live results for this race

Update, Midnight: Mike Honda and Ro Khanna will advance. With 100 percent of precincts reporting:

Mike Honda: 48.6 percent Ro Khanna: 27.1 percent Vanila Singh: 16.9 percent Joel VanLandingham: 7.3 percent

Update, 9:45 p.m.: Rep. Mike Honda holds a commanding lead over his three opponents, grabbing 51 percent of the returns counted so far. Democrat Ro Khanna is currently in second place, with 26 percent of the vote. It’s looking likely the two will face-off in November.

A poll conducted two weeks ago predicted the two Democrats would outpoll their Republican challengers.

Original Post:

The race to represent Silicon Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives has been one of the real Rorschach tests of the 2014 campaign season, a contest in which everyone saw a little something different as a veteran incumbent faced three upstart challengers.

But the only vision that matters is the one of voters in California’s 17th congressional district.

Incumbent Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) is seeking an eighth term in Congress, and faces his biggest challenge yet — in large part because his district was reshaped into a more compact Silicon Valley seat during California’s 2011 redistricting effort, and a district made up of different Democrats than those Honda has represented since 2001.

The biggest hurdle for Honda, 72, has come from within his own party and challenger Ro Khanna. The Fremont lawyer and former Obama administration official, 37, has waged the campaign as a needed shift in generations and savviness when it comes to the needs of the region’s dominant tech sector.

California’s top-two primary rules mean that Honda and Khanna could face each other for another round of political battling in November. The two men have, combined, raised some $6 million for the race — with Khanna outpacing his Democratic rival in fundraising.

The bitter split between Democrats in the race could allow a Republican to claim one of the top two spots once the ballots are counted. Vanila Singh, 43, is a Stanford physician who lives in Fremont and is making her first bid for elective office. Joel Vanlandingham, 47, is a San Jose resident and registered Republican who entered the race late.

But most eyes have been on Honda and Khanna. The incumbent Honda was endorsed in early 2013 by President Obama, but a number of Obama loyalists later signed on to Khanna’s effort.

Khanna had considered challenging another Bay Area veteran, former Rep. Pete Stark, in 2012. But he sat out that race, as Stark was beaten by another fellow Democrat, Rep. Eric Swallwell.

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Author

John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new California Politics and Government Desk.  A veteran of almost two decades of political coverage, he served nine years as the statehouse bureau chief for KQED Public Radio and The California Report, and most recently as political editor for the Sacramento ABC-TV affiliate, News10 (KXTV). John served as moderator of the only 2014 gubernatorial debate, and was recently named by The Washington Post as one of the nation's most influential statehouse reporters.  Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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