Midterms: Asian Americans continue to make political history

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UPDATE (11/08/18, 5:00 p.m. PT): A number of additional Asian American victories were added thanks to the feedback from many election watchers.

We took back the House on Election Day and a number of Asian Americans made political history.

Numerous groups heavily invested in Asian American voter activation and helped ensure that our communities turned out.

  • The CAPA21 PAC raised more than $100,000 for candidates and field activities through its Asian Americans #TakeItBack campaign.
  • The Asian Americans Against Trumpism PAC ran in-language print ads opposing Republican candidates in Congressional Districts 39, 45, and 48 in Southern California.
  • APALA’s civic engagement program focused on door knocking, phone banking, registering voters, and protecting voters at the polls in California, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
  • APIAVote was part of the largest national election protection coalition in history and conducted a wide range of programs including a voter hotline and in-language voting resources,

Below is a list highlighting results or the status (as of Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time) of races across the country involving Asian American candidates or communities. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. If you have something to add to this list, share your comment on our Facebook post.

ARIZONA

Democrat Hiral Tipirneni (House, Arizona 8th) lost to Debbie Lesko.

CALIFORNIA

Democrats Doris Matsui, Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Judy Chu, Ted Lieu, Mark Takano all won re-election. Rep. Chu chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Democrat TJ Cox (California 21st) lost to Rep. David Valadao. Democrat Andrew Janz (California 22nd) lost to Rep. Devin Nunes. Democrat Gil Cisneros trails Republican Young Kim in California 39th. If Kim wins, she will be the first Korean American woman elected to the U.S. House.

At the state level, Controller Betty Yee was re-elected and will joined at the state executive ranks by Fiona Ma as Treasurer, succeeding John Chiang in that position.

CONNECTICUT

Democrat William Tong was elected as the state’s first Asian American attorney general. He is the nation’s second Asian American elected attorney general. UPDATE: Tong joins Josh Kaul of Wisconsin as the second and third Asian Americans elected state attorneys general. I’ll leave to others to decide who’s second and third.

FLORIDA

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Florida 7th) won re-election.

GEORGIA 

Democrat Stacey Abrams is standing strong and refusing to concede the governor’s race after an election marred by voter disenfranchisement. Asian Americans were part of a coalition of civil rights groups that sued secretary of state Brian Kemp in his official capacity over a 2017 voting law that hampered the registrations of more than 50,000 people — of whom approximately 80 percent are Black, Latino or Asian American.

HAWAI’I

Senator Mazie Hirono, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and Gov. David Ige each easily won re-election. Ige is the country’s only Asian American governor. Former Rep. Ed Case returns to Congress, succeeding Colleen Hanabusa who vied for but lost her primary challenge against Ige. Both houses of the state legislature are led by Japanese Americans, Ron Kouchi in the Senate and Scott Saiki in the House. Native Hawaiian Keali`i Lopez chairs the Hawai’i Democratic Party. Filipina American Shirlene DelaCruz Santiago Ostrov chairs the state Republican Party.

ILLINOIS

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) won re-election. State Rep. Theresa Mah (D), the first Asian American elected to the Illinois General Assembly, was re-elected, and will be joined in the legislature by Democrat Ram Villivalam, the first Indian American elected to the Illinois state Senate.

UPDATE: Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz was elected state representative.

MASSACHUSETTS

UPDATE: Democrat Tram Nguyen unseated incumbent Republican state Rep. Jim Lyons.

MICHIGAN

State Rep. Stephanie Chang won election to the state Senate. She is the first Asian American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature.

MINNESOTA

Democratic–Farmer–Labor state Rep. Fue Lee won re-election and will be joined by a record four other DFL Hmong Americans in the state legislature: Jay Xiong, Kaohly Her, Samantha Vang, and Tou Xiong.

NEVADA

Rep. Jacky Rosen defeated Sen. Dean Heller with help from the Asian American community, including efforts by APALA and One APIA Nevada.

NEW JERSEY

Democrat Andy Kim declared victory last night over incumbent Rep. Tom MacArthur in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. This will be the first time a Korean American serves in Congress since 1999.

NEW YORK 

Rep. Grace Meng won re-election. Meng, the first Asian American Member of Congress from New York State, chairs the ASPIRE PAC, the leadership PAC of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Taiwanese American John Liu and Indian American Kevin Thomas – both Democrats – were elected as the first Asian Americans elected to New York’s state senate. Yuh-Line Niou (D) and Ron Kim (D) in the State Assembly both won re-election.

PENNSYLVANIA

Update: Democrat Patty Kim won re-election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

TEXAS

Gina Ortiz Jones (D) is standing her ground and refusing to concede to Rep. Will Hurd (R), trailing him by less than 700 votes. Sri Preston Kulkarni (D) lost his challenge to Rep. Pete Olson (R). And Beto … sigh.

UPDATE: Three Asian American women were re-elected unopposed in El Paso County Texas. District Judge Linda Chew, Probate Judge Patricia Chew, and County Court At Law Judge M. Sue Kurita.

And additional Asian American election wins:

Christine Weems, Judge for 281st Judicial District Court

Frances Bourliot, Justice 14th Court of Appeals District, Place 5

Gene Wu (re-elected), Texas House of Representatives, District 137

Hubert Vo (re-elected), Texas House of Representatives, District 149

Jason Luong, Judge for Texas District Court 185

Juli Mathew, Judge for Fort Bend County Court @ Law, No 3

Rabeea Collier, Judge for 113th Civil District Court of Harris County

KP George, Fort Bend County Commissioners Court Judge

VIRGINIA

Rep. Bobby Scott won re-election. Scott is the only Filipino American currently serving in Congress.

WASHINGTON

Rep. Pramila Jayapal won re-election.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. If you have something to add to this list, share your comment on our Facebook post.

WISCONSIN

UPDATE: Indian American Josh Kaul declared victory in the state attorney general’s race. Kaul joins William Tong of Connecticut as the second and third Asian Americans elected state attorneys general. I’ll leave to others to decide who’s second and third.

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