State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez is heading to Congress, after winning a special election Tuesday in California’s 34th District.
Gomez defeated fellow Democrat Robert Lee Ahn with 60 percent of the vote in the race for the seat which former Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra vacated to become state attorney general. The election featured two Democrats because of California’s primary rules, where the top two finishers in the primary advance to a runoff, regardless of party affiliation.
The race was a battle over which candidate best represented liberal values.
Gomez lauded himself as the “true progressive” in the race, arguing that he would fight for liberal policies and resist President Donald Trump’s administration in Congress.
“Capitulation will lead to failure. So that’s why I think there’s a big difference between my opponent and myself,” Gomez said in a May 25 debate. “I understand the politics of Washington, D.C. You need to hold firm, you need to work with your colleagues and you need to throw elbows.”
Though Gomez will be assigned his congressional committees, his committee preferences noted in the debate signaled which issues he would focus on in Congress. Gomez said he would like to sit on the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, the Natural Resources Committee, and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
It is also possible that Gomez could join the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which endorsed him in the campaign. The congressman-elect was also backed by Becerra, the California Democratic Party, and liberal groups such as Our Revolution, which is run by former staffers for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.