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Fremont: Recap from Honda/Khanna candidates’ forum Saturday

Story by Paul Rogers and Josh Richman

FREMONT — In their only matchup before the June 3 primary election, U.S. Rep.Mike Honda on Saturday night said he would continue to be a voice for the powerless in his Silicon Valley district, while former Obama administration official Ro Khanna said the region needs a new, more tech-minded representative.

The two Democrats, locked in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the United States, met at a packed candidates’ forum at Fremont City Hall attended by more than 300 people, many of them waving signs and chanting before and after the event.

The biggest news of the evening, however, may have come afterward when Honda, in response to a question from this newspaper, agreed to debate Khanna in the future. For months the congressman, seeking an eighth term in a district that runs from Fremont to San Jose to Sunnyvale, has turned down multiple invitations to debate. Khanna has blasted Honda for agreeing to participate only in scripted events.

Honda promised that after the primary, in which only the top two candidates will advance to the November election, he will go head-to-head with Khanna on a debate stage.

“I think that makes sense because it will be one-on-one,” said Honda, D-San Jose.

Khanna beamed when he heard the news.

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Chris DeBenedetti