Ro Khanna elbowed his way through a sweltering hotel conference room packed out with supporters, many of them who didn’t look old enough to vote, pausing every foot or two to proffer hugs and handshakes.
As results trickled in—and there's no doubt the Registrar of Voters lagged once again—it became clear Khanna made it to the November runoff with Rep. Mike Honda. Honda walked with a little more than 50 percent of the vote (44,326 total votes were cast), while Khanna finished with a little less than 26 percent. Republican Vanila Singh finished third with 16.7 percent of returns.
The crowd at Aloft Hotel in Cupertino cheered and chanted “Ro, Ro, Ro” as an overhead net unleashed a torrent of orange and purple balloons. Khanna took to the podium to deliver a heady speech about the youth of today, the “soul of America,” democratic ideals and “what really matters.” He also made a point to challenge debate-dodging Honda to five debates this summer and thanked his campaign staff for elevating the profile of his campaign.
“When we started, people didn’t say, ‘Who is Ro Khanna?’ They said, ‘What is Ro Khanna?’” The audience laughed.
“Try googling his name now,” chimed one volunteer.