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Republican Kevin Kiley wins House race in California's 3rd Congressional District

Democrat physician Kermit Jones (left) and Republican Assembly member Kevin Kiley (right) participated in a CapRadio and KCRA debate on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.
Andrew Nixon
Democrat physician Kermit Jones (left) and Republican Assembly member Kevin Kiley (right) participated in a CapRadio and KCRA debate on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.

Republican state Assembly member Kevin Kiley has defeated Dr. Kermit Jones in the congressional race for the 3rd District, which includes Folsom, Roseville and Lake Tahoe, according to a race call Tuesday by the Associated Press.

Kiley had 53% of the votes as of Tuesday afternoon, with 83% of the expected votes already tallied. Jones, a physician who also served in the U.S. military, conceded the race Tuesday evening.

Former President Donald Trump had endorsed Kiley, who fended off a challenge from Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones in June’s primary election.

Kermit Jones and Kiley were vying to represent a huge new congressional district that stretches from Plumas County to Death Valley. It also includes the Sacramento-area suburbs of Rocklin, Roseville and Folsom.

The 3rd Congressional district is majority white but with nearly 40% Latino residents. Republicans have an edge in voter registration, at more than 38%, with Democrats making up about one-third and no party preference at less than 20%.

The seat was one of a number of close California contests won by Republicans, helping the party retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Kiley was in Washington early this week for a new member orientation, and the GOP Caucus Conference meeting, where Republicans nominated Kevin McCarthy to be the next Speaker.

During the campaign, Kiley aligned with Republican platforms on gun control (he would not support raising the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21) and reproductive rights (“It’s a state issue” he said at a debate in October).

Also at this CapRadio and KCRA debate, he declined to blame Trump for the January 6 Capitol attack — instead focusing on “folks that committed these acts of violence” — and was accused by Jones of fraternizing with extremist groups.

Kiley previously ran for governor during the 2021 failed recall attempt of Governor Gavin Newsom, when he came in sixth as a replacement candidate.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, about 335,000 ballots in California are still waiting to be counted as of Wednesday morning. The state’s expansive vote-by-mail system means results can take days or weeks to be finalized, with the final certification by the state required by Dec. 16.

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