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Silicon Valley Congressional Race Closing In With Honda Leading Challenger Khanna

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, remained ahead early Wednesday morning despite a spirited challenge by fellow Democrat Ro Khanna to represent the 17th Congressional District.

Honda, elected to the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, was leading 52 percent to 48 percent over Khanna with 85 percent of precincts reporting. As of 3:41 a.m. PST, Honda had received 50,082 votes to Khanna's 46,095.

Khanna, a 38-year-old lawyer, ran in part on his background in technology and as a former commerce official for President Barack Obama's administration in a district that includes some of Silicon Valley's major tech businesses.

To the 71-year-old Honda, the election was about his record of service for the 17th district, specifically his landing $900 million in federal funding for the planned 10-mile extension of BART from Fremont to  East San Jose.

But Khanna countered that Honda's list of achievements was sparse and the congressman had become out of touch on the issues.

Honda was endorsed by political heavyweights such as President Obama, Gov. Jerry Brown, state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.

Khanna's endorsers featured an impressive array of major Silicon Valley executives including Facebook chief operating executive Sheryl Sandberg, Google Inc. head Eric Schmidt, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and other business leaders from tech firms like Microsoft, Oracle and Yelp.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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