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Democrat claims U.S. House seat in Calif.

July 14, 2009 2:16:20 PM PDT
Democrat Judy Chu claimed the 32nd congressional seat vacated by now U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.Democrat Judy Chu was seen as the favorite. The vice chair of the California Board of Equalization finished atop a field of 13 candidates in the May primary but did not get the majority of votes needed to win the election outright.

She faced Republican Betty Chu, a cousin of hers by marriage, and Libertarian candidate Christopher Agrella.

The predominantly Democratic 32nd district includes Rosemead, El Monte, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Covina and Walnut Valley.

Chu is a former state Assembly member and will become Southern California's only Asian-American in Congress.

Chu won 60 percent of the votes Tuesday night and will give Democrats a 256-178 edge over Republicans in the house.

Chu could be sworn in as early as Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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