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The Legacy Continues: Jimmy Panetta Elected to Congress

Doug McKnight
Jimmy Panetta thanking supporters and voters on Election Night.

In Congress the Monterey Bay Area has been represented by a Democrat for forty years, and that’s a tradition that will continue.  Voters have elected Democrat Jimmy Panetta to represent them in the 20th Congressional District. 

At a packed election party in Monterey, Jimmy Panetta claimed victory early in the night just as results started coming in.    “We realize that this isn’t the finish line; it’s the starting line,” said Panetta.

“I’m not doing this job for the titles. I’m doing it for the work and for the service that I can give to the people here.  I know that I have a lot to learn and a lot to do, but I look forward to doing it. And  I’m inspired to do it by the votes, by the number we got tonight, and just this crowd right here,” he continued.

His win carries on a legacy in the district that represents the Monterey Bay Area.  He’s replacing retiring Democratic Congressman Sam Farr who served for 23 years. And prior to that, Jimmy’s father Leon Panetta held the seat for 17. 

This is Jimmy Panetta’s first time in elected office.  He says his experience as a prosecutor will help.

“I’ve been a prosecutor in Salinas. I’ve been on the gang team.  I’m used to being in tough situations, yet I’m also used to fighting for  what’s right,” said Panetta.

His opponent, Republican Casey Lucius conceded the race and congratulated Panetta on his win.  “I will do everything that I can to support him and make sure he’s successful,” said Lucius.

Lucius says it’s unlikely she’d run again.  Jimmy Panetta takes office in January. 

Krista joined KAZU in 2007. She is an award winning journalist with more than a decade of broadcast experience. Her stories have won regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and honors from the Northern California Radio and Television News Directors Association. Prior to working at KAZU, Krista reported in Sacramento for Capital Public Radio and at television stations in Iowa. Like KAZU listeners, Krista appreciates the in-depth, long form stories that are unique to public radio. She's pleased to continue that tradition in the Monterey Bay Area.
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