20+ Korean American candidates up for primary elections

May 6, 2014

From left to right, top to bottom: Ann Park, Helen Kim, Michelle Park Steel, Young Kim, Sam Kang, Peter Choi, James Na, Carol Kim

By the Korea Times Los Angeles staff

Some 20 Korean Americans across the United States will be running for political office in upcoming primary elections.

Eleven of them are in California, including Michelle Park Steel, the current Republican Vice Chair of the California Board of Equalization.

Steel, who is running for a seat to represent the 2nd District of the Orange County Board of Supervisors against three other candidates, was recently endorsed by The Orange County Register.

Another, Young Kim, will be running for the State Assembly seat for the 65th District alongside Rep. Ed Royce, who represents the 39th District as the Republicans’ unopposed candidates. She will go against Rep. Sharon Quirk-Silva, the incumbent congresswoman, at the general elections in November.

Meanwhile, Temple City Chamber of Commerce CEO Peter Choi is on the Democrat ticket for the State Senate District 24. The district includes Los Angeles’ Koreatown, Silver Lake, Eagle Rock, East L.A. and Boyle Heights.

James Na, the vice president of Chino Valley Unified School District, is joining the race for the 4th District seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. The district includes Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, Ontario and Upland.

As for seats in L.A. County Superior Court, three Korean Americans — Prosecutors Ann H. Park, Helen Kim and Songhai Armstead — are each vying for different offices.

Park, a 20-year veteran of the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, is the only prosecutor of the three who is running unopposed for Office No. 82.

Kim will run against her fellow county prosecutor Alison Estrada for Office No. 76, while Armstead, whose grandmother is Korean, will run for Office No. 97.

In addition, Dem. Carol Kim is campaigning for the 6th District in the San Diego City Council; Dem. Attorney Sam Kang for the 15th District seat in the California Assembly; Dem. Andrew Park for the 2nd District seat in Oakland City Council; and Dem. Mary Jung Hayashi for the 10th State Senate District.

In other states, most notably New Jersey, more than 10 Korean Americans will throw in their names.

In New Jersey, Dem. Roy Cho will run for the 5th District for Congress; Dem. Gloria Oh for the Borough of Englewood Cliffs; Dem. Chris Jung for Palisades Park City Council; Paul Yoon for Fort Lee City Council; and Ind. Joon Chung for Harrington Park Borough Council.

In Maryland, Dem. David Moon will run for the 20th District for the State House of Delegates, while Dem. Mark Chang is a candidate for the 32nd District.

Republican candidate Eugene Yu will run for the 12th Congressional District in Georgia.

In Hawaii, Dem. Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, the current president of the Hawaii Senate, will run for the 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.


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