Cross-posted from OC Political…
Less than 36 hours after Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) unexpectedly announced his retirement after 13 terms in Congress, there are now two major Republican candidates to succeed him in the 39th Congressional District: former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) who announced her bid early tonight and Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton) who announced his bid late tonight to City News Service.
As OC Political noted this morning in our analysis of potential candidates for CD-39:
Supervisor Shawn Nelson represents 45% of the voters of the 39th Congressional District. Of the 367,000 registered voters in CD-39, Nelson represents 166,000 of them, who reside in the 4th Supervisorial District’s overlap with CD-39. Nelson has deep roots in the district, having grown up in Fullerton, graduated from high school there, and even graduating from law school there. He’s also a member of countless civic organizations in CD-39. Nelson won three elections to the Fullerton City Council and two to the Orange County Board of Supervisors (and raised the necessary money to wage those campaigns). As it happens, he is termed out from the Board in 2018.
Conventional wisdom would have Republicans coalesce behind one candidate. However, with the top-two primary, having both Kim and Nelson could work (assuming that obscure La Mirada Councilman Andrew Sarega pulls out and perennial candidate John Cullum does not jump in; I would note La Mirada is not in CD-39).
In CD-31 in 2012, with four Democrats and two Republicans running, the top-two primary allowed Congressman Gary Miller and State Senator Bob Dutton to advance to an all-Republican run-off in a tough swing seat. In CD-39 in 2018, there are currently six Democrats running.