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December 5, 2022

South Valley Democrats lead in U.S. Congress balloting

Longtime incumbent Zoe Lofgren defeats Supervisor Peter Hernandez, according to unofficial results

The incumbent members of Congress representing portions of Santa Clara and San Benito counties—Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Zoe Lofgren and Jimmy Panetta, all of them Democrats—are easily headed to reelection this year, despite encountering significant changes in district boundaries because of reapportionment based on the 2020 census.

Lofgren, the highest profile member of Congress from San Jose because of her roles on the Jan. 6 Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, is solidly ahead for a 15th two-year term, defeating Republican Peter Hernandez.

She will represent a redrawn 18th District that stretches from downtown San Jose to southern Monterey County. First elected to Congress in 1994, she represented the former 16th District until 2012, when she was elected to a redrawn 19th District.

In the June primary, she placed first, with 56.3%, to Hernandez’s total of 31.3%. 

Hernandez is currently the District 3 San Benito County Supervisor, serving as Chair of the five-member board. His current term will end in December, and he declined to run for reelection while seeking the 18th District seat. Mindy Sotelo was elected to the District 3 seat in the June 7 primary. 

Eshoo, the longest-serving Congress member representing portions of Santa Clara County, has a solid lead to represent a new congressional district, the realigned 16th District. She will begin serving her 16th term in the House of Representatives in January. She represented the14th District for 10 terms, and a realigned 18th District for five terms.

For the second straight Congressional election, Eshoo is well ahead of Democrat Rishi Kumar. She also had beaten Kumar in the June primary and in the primary and general election of 2020, when she won 63.2% of the vote, to Kumar’s 36.8%.

Khanna also is on his way to defeat a familiar opponent, Republican Ritesh Tandon. Khanna topped Tandon in the June primary, and in the primary and general elections of 2020, when he was elected with 68.6% of the vote.

Khanna is set to be re-elected to a fourth term in Congress representing the 17th District, which has some new boundaries because of the 2020 census.

Panetta’s election to a fourth term in the House of Representatives in the realigned 19th District is all but assured. It would be a repeat of the June primary and the 2020 primary and general election victories over Republican Jeff Gorman, who lost in 2020 by a 76.8%-to-23.2% margin in Panetta’s third election in the 20th District.

Here are the results for Santa Clara County’s Congressional seats.

The 2022 results, in percentages, are based on early, unofficial returns from the Secretary of State, as of 9pm. Vote-by-mail, provisional and other ballots will continue to be processed and counted after Election Day.

16th District

Anna Eshoo (D) 60%

Rishi Kumar (D) 40%

17th District

Ro Khanna (D) 72.7%

Ritesh Tandon (R) 27.3%

18th District

Zoe Lofgren (D) 67.5%

Peter Hernandez (R)  32.5%

19th District

Jimmy Panetta (D) 69.9%

Jeff Gorman  (R)  30.1%

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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