RELEASE: Democratic Candidates in CA-39 Stand United With Gil Cisneros

Fullerton, Calif. – TODAY, former Democratic candidates from California’s 39th Congressional District primary announced their unanimous support of fmr. Lieutenant Commander Gil Cisneros, the only Democrat to place in the top two of California’s open primary yesterday evening. Former candidates Dr. Mai-Khanh Tran, Andy Thorburn, Sam Jammal, Suzi Park Leggett, Dr. Herbert Lee, Dr. Phil Janowicz, and Jay Chen all stand united around Cisneros in his bid to win the general election this November.

“I’m humbled to have been chosen by the voters of the 39th Congressional District to advance to the general election,” said fmr. Lieutenant Commander Gil Cisneros. “I have tremendous respect for the other candidates who sacrificed so much of their time and energy running to represent the people of the 39th, and I am extremely grateful to have their support as we bring our message of Medicare-for-All, immigration reform, common-sense gun legislation, and so many other important issues to the voters this November.”

“Primary elections are an essential aspect of our democracy,” said Dr. Mai-Khanh Tran, MD, former candidate for Congress in California’s 39th District. “They allow candidates from all across the political spectrum to exchange and debate the policy questions of our time. But now that the people have spoken, it is time for us to put aside our differences and unite in support of our Democratic candidate.”

“Make no mistake – control of Congress is on the line this November and the 39th District is absolutely crucial to Democrats taking back the House,” said Andy Thorburn, former candidate for Congress in CA-39. “I fully support Gil Cisneros as the Democratic nominee. He comes from a union family and will stand up for working people in the 39th. Gil will be a tireless advocate for Medicare-for-All, common-sense gun legislation, and protecting immigrants. I encourage all of our neighbors and friends in the 39th District to rally around Gil in this fight.”

“As a lifelong public servant, I understand how important this election is and why Democrats must be united,” said Sam Jammal, former candidate for Congress in CA-39. “It is important for Democrats to come together and put in the hard work of flipping this seat.”

“Gil Cisneros’ victory last night marks a triumph of our shared values as Democrats,” said Suzi Park Leggett, former candidate for Congress in CA-39. “Gil has been committed from the get-go to removing corporate influence from politics, expanding healthcare and educational opportunities for all people, and making the economy work for the middle class again. Gil will fight to keep Social Security and Retirement.  As a former Congressional staffer for many decades, I know what it takes to succeed on Capitol Hill, and I fully endorse Gil Cisneros for Congress to represent the 39th District.”

“Big congratulations to Gil Cisneros on becoming the Democratic Candidate of the 39th Congressional District!” said Dr. Herbert Lee, MD, former candidate for Congress in California’s 39th District. “What remains of Primary Election rancor must now be put aside. I will work with the California Democratic Party to support Gil Cisneros in the November election, and may God bless America!”

“As a professor of chemistry, I know firsthand the power of public education to transform lives,” said Dr. Phil Janowicz, former professor at Cal State Fullerton and former candidate for Congress in CA-39. “For many years, Gil Cisneros has dedicated his time, energy, and resources to providing educational opportunities to students from underserved communities. He is committed to bringing that focus to Congress, which is why I am proud to support Gil Cisneros for Congress in CA-39. We in this district have suffered under an absent Republican representative for over a quarter century, and it is time for all of us to unite together to flip this seat!”

“After one of the hardest-fought and most closely-watched primaries in our district’s history, I’m excited to see that Democratic voters have propelled Gil Cisneros into the general election,” said Jay Chen, former Democratic candidate for Congress in CA-39 and Mt. San Antonio College Trustee. “It is now time for all Democrats to unite behind Gil Cisneros so that we can complete the transformation of Congressional District 39. As a naval intelligence officer and college trustee, service to our country is important to me, and I know that Gil shares these values and that he will represent the community I grew up in with honor. Gil always put our country first as an officer in the Navy, and he will continue to do so in Congress. I am proud to endorse Gil Cisneros for Congress.”


Gil Cisneros is a former U.S. Naval Officer and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (2), the National Defense Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for his exemplary service to his country. Gil is Advocate and co-founder of The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, an organization committed to improving the level of Hispanic education in the country. Gilbert’s dedication toward philanthropy began when he purchased a winning California Mega Millions lottery ticket in 2010. Gil and Jacki partnered with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the city of Pico Rivera, California to create Generation First Degree Pico Rivera, with the goal of putting a college degree in every Hispanic household in the city. Gil’s commitment to education, led him to be appointed to former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative’s advisory board, on which he still serves, and President Obama’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

California’s 39th Congressional District, split between Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties, will be one of the most competitive districts in California. Hillary Clinton won the district by a whopping nine points, the DCCC labeled it a first-round target on its battlefield map and recently, the Cook Political Report changed the district’s status from Lean R to Lean D.