The floodgate of Democratic defections from Mike Honda may be opening

State Senate Pro Tem Kevin DeLeon endorsed 
Ro Khanna over Rep. Mike Honda.

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Is this the first major crack in Rep. Mike Honda’s re-election effort?

State Senate Pro Tem Kevin DeLeon said Thursday he is backing Ro Khanna over Honda. DeLeon becomes the highest party official to jilt the incumbent Democratic congressman for Khanna, also a Democrat.

Honda is currently under a House ethics probe for allegedly overlapping his office’s official government duties with his re-election campaigns in 2012 and 2014. Undoubtedly, the issue is already a major issue and no resolution on the investigation is yet known.

Last year, Honda faced the biggest challenge to his seat against Khanna. Honda defeated the upstart by under four percentage points, or just over 5,000 votes in the majority Asian and South Asian American district. Last May, Khanna announced his campaign for a rematch in 2016.

While DeLeon’s sphere of power rests in Sacramento and his Los Angeles state senate district, his high profile within the state party suggests to other officials and the public that Honda’s ethics allegations are severe enough to warrant a change in the Seventeenth District.

More importantly, the endorsement may signal to those contemplating a switch in their support from the incumbent Honda to Khanna is without many political ramifications to them.

What remains now is whether the floodgates are opened by this and possibly other high-profile defections from Honda to Khanna. State Sen. Bob Wieckowski’s Tenth District overlaps much of the congressional district. Could he follow his boss to Khanna’s column?

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