Congressional hopeful Young Kim is the first Republican to go on the airwaves in the crowded race for California’s 39th District, launching a television ad Thursday.
The spot, shared first with Roll Call, highlights the former assemblywoman’s ties to the man she is hoping to replace — retiring GOP Rep. Ed Royce. Kim worked for the congressman for two decades
Royce, who has endorsed Kim for the Southern California seat, is seen with her in the 30-second ad. Kim also touts her record as a state legislator, and her family history. She was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. with her family, attending middle school in Guam and high school in Hawaii.
“When my family came to this country, we came legally,” Kim says in the ad. “And not because we wanted handouts but because we wanted the opportunity America provided to succeed on our own.”
The ad will air on cable televsion for two or more weeks, and is the start of a six-figure TV and digital media buy.
Kim is one of seven Republicans running to replace Royce. At least two of the six Democrats in the race — Gil Cisneros and Andy Thorburn — have also launched TV ads.
All candidates will run together in the June 5 open primary, with the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advancing to the general election. The top-two system has raised concerns among Democrats hoping to flip the seat that two Republicans will get through, shutting them out of the November ballot.
Kim outraised the other Republicans in the race in the first quarter that ended March 31, according to Federal Election Commission documents. She took in $607,000 and finished with $467,000 in cash on hand. Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson raised $397,000 and had $341,000 in the bank, and former state Sen. Bob Huff raised $312,000 and had $212,000 on hand.
The Democrats who had already announced bids prior to Royce announcing his retirement also have sizable war chests, thanks to some self-funding.
Cisneros, a Navy veteran and multimillionaire lottery winner, had $1 million on hand, and has loaned his own campaign $2 million. Thorburn, a businessman, had $796,000 in the bank, and has loaned his campaign $2.3 million. Pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran had $570,000 in cash on hand and also loaned her campaign $480,000. Businessman Sam Jammal had $233,000 on hand and has not loaned a significant amount of his own money to his campaign.