Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Democrat claims US House seat in Calif.

LOS ANGELES Democrat Judy Chu easily claimed a vacant U.S. House seat Tuesday in a Los Angeles-area district, reinforcing the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill.

The former state Assembly member will become Southern California's only Asian-American in Congress. She will be sworn in Thursday, giving Democrats a 256-178 edge over Republicans in the House.

With 173 of 209 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Chu had 14,115 votes, or 62 percent. She was trailed by her cousin by marriage, Republican Betty Chu, with 7,355 votes, or 32 percent.
"I'm really proud and honored and humbled to have such an overwhelming vote," Chu told The Associated Press from her victory party in Covina.

With House Democratic leaders pushing a $1.5 trillion health care measure toward a vote in the full House by month's end, Chu said she was urged to get to Washington fast and "get ready to vote immediately."

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