Asian Americans get big midterm wins but still underrepresented in politics

Asian Americans have made great strides throughout the country once again during this year’s midterm election season.

Entrepreneur Shri Thanedar (D) won 71% of the votes and became the first Indian American representative in Michigan. Aruna Miller (D) likewise became the first Indian American to win the race for lieutenant governor in Maryland.

Japanese American Linda Ujifusa (D) and Chinese American Victoria Gu (D) were both elected in their respective districts in Rhode Island, making them the first Asians to do so.

Chinese American anesthesiologist Michelle Hsiao Au (D), who made history as the first Asian American woman to serve in the state legislature in 2021, won her election in Georgia’s House District 50.

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While some races were called quickly, some districts in California are still counting votes. In the 45th District, Michelle Steel (R) took the lead with 54.7% of the vote, while her opponent Jay Chen (D) had 45.3%, despite early vote counts switching back and forth. Steel is “favored” to win in that race, according to FiveThirtyEight. In the 40th District, incumbent Young Kim (R) held 53.9% of the vote, ahead of Asif Mahmood’s (D) 46.9% of the 135,000 votes so far.

Other key Asian American wins include Andy Kim (D) of New Jersey’s 3rd District, which was called by the Associated Press at 11 p.m. This is Kim’s third term in Congress.

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“I look forward to fighting to continue bringing down healthcare costs, getting our infrastructure investments on track, and working toward a politics that is rooted in service and civility,” Kim said in a statement. “Our future is bright and I look forward to representing this district with humility and service.”

Asian American are the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. but have faced challenges in winning public office. AAPIs (Asian American Pacific Islanders) make up only 2.8% of all elected officials in the federal government, according to Axios.

 

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