Young Kim, Michelle Park Steel emerge victorious

November 5, 2014

Choi Seok-ho in Irvine, Steve Hwangbo in La Palma re-elected

Candidates Young Kim, fifth from left, and Michelle Park Steel, second from right, celebrate after their general election victories Tuesday night. (Park Sang-hyuk/The Korea Times)

Candidates Young Kim, fifth from left, and Michelle Park Steel, second from right, celebrate after their general election victories Tuesday night. (Park Sang-hyuk/The Korea Times)

Tuesday’s general elections brought a mixed bag of joy and disappointment to 23 Korean American candidates across the United States.

Young Kim and Michelle Park Steel, both candidates from Southern California, saw victory as numbers rolled in Tuesday night.

Kim, a Republican who campaigned for the State Assembly 65th District seat, came out ahead of incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva to clinch 56 percent of votes, according to California Secretary of State election results.

Gathered in Fullerton with supporters — including California Congressman Ed Royce — and staff, Kim thanked the Korean American community.

New York voters line up at PS20 Elementary School Tuesday. (The Korea Times)

New York voters line up at PS20 Elementary School Tuesday. (The Korea Times)

“I think Korean American voters voted for me not just because I’m Korean, but because they saw me as a longtime resident of this area who knows what the people here want,” Kim said.

Orange County Supervisor 2nd District Republican candidate Steel, too, won over Allan Mansoor, with 62.4 percent.

“I couldn’t have come this far without the Korean American community,” Steel said. “I will be a supervisor who represents taxpayers.”

Steel said she would work to win the support of the 30 percent of voters who did not vote for her in the election.

In Irvine, Mayor Choi Seok-ho kept his seat in a tight race, taking 45.3 percent over opponent Mary Ann Gaido’s 43.1 percent.

Elsewhere in California, Steve Hwangbo won La Palma’s mayoral seat and Sandra Lee now finds herself a member of the Cypress School District Board.

Hwangbo said he worked to represent not just Korean Americans but the entire community during his time as a city councilman. He said he would work toward building La Palma into a city of cooperation for its residents.

Ron Kim, Democratic New York State Assemblyman for the 40th District, kept his seat, as did Supervisor Jane Kim in San Francisco.

New Jersey hopefuls saw wins in Fort Lee City Councilman Peter Suh, Palides Park City Council candidate Chris Jung and Borough of Englewood Cliffs candidate Gloria Oh.

Still, others did not fare so well in the race yesterday.

Among them was Roy Cho, the Democrat running for New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District. His race ended with his 43 percent trailing behind incumbent Scott Garrett’s 56 percent.

Others who returned home without seats included Peter Choi, the Democratic candidate for California State Senate 24th District; Ken Park, Democratic candidate for California State Assembly 60th District; Josh Lee, candidate for Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education; Andrew Park, candidate for Oakland City Council; and Carol Kim, candidate for San Diego City Council.

2 Comments

  1. James Davis

    November 5, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Congratulations to Young Kim and Michelle Park Steel on their victory.

  2. Pingback: LINK ATTACK: Ki Hong Lee, Millennials in NKorea, Veterans | KoreAm Journal - Korean America's Premier Magazine

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