A number of Asian American candidates are running in the race to replace Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) in California’s 39th district in Orange County, CA. Ed Royce, currently the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced last month that he would retire from Congress.
Former Royce staffer Young Kim is a Korean American running for Congress as a Republican in California’s 39th district. Her public service began more than 25 years ago, when Kim began to work for Royce eventually becoming his Director of Community Operations. Kim’s career began as a small business owner and financial analyst.
Kim was elected to the 65th District of the California State Assembly in 2014 becoming the first ever Korean-American woman elected to serve in the State Assembly. As Assemblywoman, Kim championed a measure for protecting victims of domestic violence with her bill (AB 2078) that passed the Assembly with bipartisan support.
Ethnicity: Korean American
Dr. Mai Khanh Tran is also running in the Democratic primary. A Vietnamese American, she came to the U.S. at the age of 9 as a refugee. She attended Dartmouth Medical School finished her residency in Pediatrics at UCLA, and settled in Orange County, California. Tran said 25 years of practicing medicine in Orange County means she’s familiar with the district.
Tran, 51, of Fountain Valley, said she was inspired to run by Royce’s support for Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “I truly think Ed Royce needs to be challenged. I am the best person to take this fight.” (LA Times)
Ethnicity: Vietnamese American