Democrat claims U.S. House seat in Calif.

LOS ANGELES 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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