WASHINGTONYoung Kim appeared certain to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, becoming the first Korean-American woman to serve in Congress.
With 97 percent of the ballots counted, the 56-year-old Republican garnered 51.4 percent of the vote against 48.6 percent by Democrat Gil Cisneros in California's 39th district.
If finalized, she will succeed outgoing Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The only other Korean-American to serve in Congress was Jay Kim, a Republican who represented California's 41st district from 1993 to 1999.
Young Kim worked for Royce for two decades, first when he was a state senator and then in Congress, according to news reports. Her last role was as director of community operations and Asian affairs.
She herself was elected to the California legislature in 2014.
After immigrating to the U.S. territory of Guam in 1975, Kim moved to Hawaii and then to California, where she attended the University of Southern California.
She later ran several businesses.
Her congressional district, which includes parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, is two-thirds Asian and Latino, according to reports.
Despite being traditionally Republican, the district was won by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, in the 2016 presidential race.
Kim has distanced herself from some of President Donald Trump's policies, including his hard-line stance against immigration.
Source: Yonhap News Agency