Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Win Elections Across the Country

  Victories Critical in Progressive Movement Against Trump Nationalist Anti-Immigrant Agenda

WASHINGTON – AAPI Progressive Action is proud of the electoral gains made by progressive Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) candidates across the country on November 7, 2017. It is clear from the election results that AAPIs are making waves against Donald Trump’s reactionary, repressive, and regressive policies by electing officials who will stand up for the community.

Highlighted statewide electoral wins:

  • Manka Dhingra’s victory in Washington’s 45th District over a conservative Asian American reaffirms that AAPIs—who make up 15 percent of that district—support progressive values. Her victory gives the Democrats control of both the executive and legislative branches.  
  • Kathy Tran won the 42nd District of the Virginia House of Delegates by nearly a two-to-one margin. Her victory, along with other Democratic wins, has the potential to flip the House of Delegates to the Democrats. She is the first Vietnamese American and Asian American woman elected to statewide office in Virginia. 
  • Kelly Convirs-Fowler, a Filipino American, defeated a four-term conservative Filipino American incumbent in the 41st District of the Virginia House of Delegates. She joins Tran and Korean American Mark Keam in the House.
  • Vin Gopal defeated an 11-year incumbent in the 11th District of the New Jersey State Senate. He is the first South Asian American elected to that statehouse.
  • Ravi Bhalla won the mayoral election in Hoboken, New Jersey despite a vicious racist flyer distributed against him. Ravi is the second Sikh American mayor in U.S. history.

Progressive AAPIs were also victorious in local elections. Jacob “Jake” Fitisemanu, Jr., one of AAPI Progressive Action’s National Advisory Council members, was elected to the City Council of West Valley, Utah, part of a six-win total for progressives in Salt Lake County municipal elections. Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel won seats on the school board in Edison, New Jersey, after racist flyers were passed out calling for their deportation, despite both being American citizens.

AAPI Progressive Action celebrates these victories and recognizes that these elections were won through collaboration and partnership with other progressive communities. These coalitions led to the victories of Democrats in the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia. The election of Justin Fairfax as Lieutenant Governor, the second African American to hold statewide office, and of Hala Ayala and Elizabeth Guzman, the first two Latinas in the Virginia House of Delegates repudiated the efforts of white supremacists in the state.

AAPI Progressive Action is proud to work alongside progressive activists and leaders to empower people, fight against racism, and protect all human and civil rights.

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Joyce Liu