Post Election Thoughts on the 2017 VA Governor’s Race

The below is from our 2017 Joe Montano Fellow Sharon Kwon on the Ralph Northam campaign. It is the last in her series of weekly campaign updates. Congrats to Sharon and the Northam campaign on victory.

I want to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the DPVA, our candidates, and the AAPI community for a victorious election night last Tuesday November 7.

By working together we were able to not only achieve victory but to exceed all expectations. The margins by which Ralph, Justin, and Mark won would not have happened if the AAPI community did not step up and invest in this campaign.

During my time on this campaign I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people within the AAPI community. The volunteers, donors, and supporters were also amazing people from all walks of life that brought their talent and desire to make a difference in their community. Together we were able to knock on more than 3 million doors, make over a million phone calls, and mobilize a blue wave across the state that energized our party and gave hope to so many in despair over the current White House administration.

Looking back I wish I had more time just to enjoy the small victories we had along the way. Whether it was a visit to local AAPI owned businesses, cultural events, or places of worship, each stop provided opportunities for community members to present their thoughts on issues, hear from the candidates, and build relationships. These experiences proved vital to our campaign and opportunity for growth and understanding between our candidates and the AAPI community. Election day meant so much more because groups like the Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV), the Democratic Asian American Club, Korean Americans for Organizing (KAFO), and members of the Progressive Vietnamese American Organization (PIVOT) invested their time and resources into the campaign.

Being part of a campaign meant being part of a team and I think that is one of the biggest lessons I am taking away from this experience. It proved challenging to coordinate events with field operations, different campaign schedules for surrogates and candidates, and even with different campaign departments. Without the hard work and support of other volunteers, organizations, and staff members it would have been impossible to do this job.

I never met Joe Montano in person but I saw the impact he had in many of the people I worked with. The same spirit of service he brought to Virginia politics remains alive and well in so many throughout the AAPI community and I hope will live on through this fellowship.

Thank you!


Welcome our updated Editorial Team:

Asian American Action Fund

Caroline Fan

Executive Editor
Richard Chen

Editor (Emeritus)
Gautam Dutta

Social Media Director
Kumar Jayasuriya

Senior Editor
Aryani Ong

Helen Guo
Amanda Ong
Sharon Kwon

AAPI Candidates

Today’s Election 2017, so I share my personal list of AAPI candidates today with updates as long and frequently as necessary to get all results. I use APSA’s style guide which largely follows CMS’s.

  • Bee Nguyen for GA House HD89 (ATL E: Kirkwood, Edgewood, Gresham Park, Constitution) – 12/5/2017 General Election’s Special Election Runoff, @BeeForGeorgia
  • WIN Manka Dhingra for WA State Senate D45 (Kirkland, Duvall, Sammaish) – Indian Sikh opposing GOP’s Jinyoung Lee Englund in a Special Election, crucial race for WA House control, @ElectManka
  • WIN: Kathy Tran for VA Delegate HD42 (Springfield, Lorton, Fairfax, Mt Vernon) – former refugee, @KathyKLTran
  • WIN Kelly Convirs-Fowler for VA House of Delegates D21 (VA Beach) – defeated 4-term GOP Filipino Ron Villanueva in her 1st run
  • Nadya Okamoto, Cambridge MA city council – Proportional Representation (PR) election, has run very impressive campaign at age 19 while studying, @VoteNadya, lost an inspiring, impressive, disciplined campaign
  • WIN Hongbin Gu for Chapel Hill City Council – viral racist incident, @HongBin4council
  • WIN Margaret Chin for NY City Council CD1 (Lower Manhattan: FiDi, Chinatown) – @CM_MargaretChin
  • WIN: Ravi Bhalla for Hoboken Mayor – viral racist incident, highly contested 6-way race, 1st tubaned Sikh mayor in US history; @RaviBhalla
  • WIN Alex Wan for Atlanta City Council President – @AlexWanforATL, was 29,960 to 29,694 at 95% reporting then declared
  • WIN Michelle Wu re-for Boston City Council President – @WuTrain
  • WIN Cyndi Nguyen for New Orleans City Council District E (Lower 9th Ward, East, Gentilly)- #Vote4CyndiNguyen
  • WIN Vin Gopal for NJ Senate D11 (Monmouth Cty) – 1% Indian district unseating incumbent Beck is totally impressive, @vingopal
  • WIN Shanti Narra for Middlesex County Freeholder – North Brunswick Councilwoman 2009-present
  • WIN Raj Mukerjee/Mukherji re-for NJ Assembly D33 (Hudson Cty)
  • WIN Samip “Sam” Joshi for Edison Township Council; other Indian candidates
  • WIN Vijay Kapoor for Asheville City Council – @VijayVkk165
  • WIN Dimple Ajmera for Charlotte City Council At-Large – current District 5 council member, @DimpleAjmera
  • WIN Jingwei Shi, Falguni Patel for Edison Township Board of Education – viral racist incident
  • WIN Ralph Northam for VA Governor – endorsed 9/28, not AAPI but crucial race due to Ed’s harm to VA AAPI noted our VA chapter @daav9; @RalphNortham
  • Jannie Chung for NJ State Assembly LD39 (Bergen) – 20% Korean district, @Flipthe39th, narrow loss in a 4-way race
  • Christine Chen for NJ State Senate LD23 (Somerset Cty, Hunterdon Cty, Warren Cty) – I grew up adjacent in LD16, @Chen4Change; lost 2-3 in a solid GOP district, it’s turning bigly
  • Peter Koo for NY City Council CD20 (Qns E: Flushing, Bayside) – disrespectful campaign comments against @Alison4NYC; @CMPeterKoo, no election as no opponent, how opportune
  • Bob Hasegawa for Mayor (Seattle) – @bhasegawa, 3rd place finish

2017 In Memoriam

  • Ronnie Cho for NY City Council CD2 (LES, Union Sq, Kips Bay, Gramercy Pk, Murray Hill, Rose Hill) – lost 9/12 primary despite big name from outside NYC, @RonnieCho
  • Alison Tan for NY City Council CD20 (Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro) – lost 9/12 primary
  • Nancy Tong for NY City Council D43 (Dyker Hts) – lost 9/12 primary
  • Rev. Khader El-Yateem for for NY City Council D43 (Dyker Hts) – lost 9/12 primary, Palestine is in Asia
  • Chris Miao for for NY City Council D38 (Sunset Pk) – lost 9/12 primary
  • Mike Fong for State Assembly AD51 (LA NE) – lost 10/3 Special Primary Election
  • Amy Sangiolo for Mayor (Newton, MA) – exited 10/5, is Ward 4 City Councilor at-large
  • Louis Tseng for Duluth (GA) City Council Post 2, lost

2017 GOP – all lost; AAAFund only endorses progressives who’ve defended or represented our community

  • Margaret Ahn for NJ Senate D37 (Hackensack) – lost 2015 for Fort Lee City Council and lost 2017
  • Subba Kolla for VA House of Delegates D86 (Loudon) – lost in an area where our Northam won by nearly 24k votes despite losing it in 2014, the Resistance works, we are stronger together, together we are unstoppable
  • Deepak Malhotra for NJ Assembly D19 (Middlesex Cty) – lost
  • Priti Pandya-Patel for Middlesex County Freeholder – lost

Election 2018

  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy for FL-07 (Orlando E, Sanford) – @RepStephMurphy, @SMurphyCongress
  • Rep. Ami Bera for CA-07 (Sacramento) – @RepAmiBera
  • John Chiang for Governor (CA) – endorsed, @JohnChiangCA, @CalTreasurer
  • Dave Min for CA-45 (Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, the Canyons and parts of Anaheim Hills, Coto de Caza, Orange) – @DaveMinCA, @DKMin
  • Donna Mercado Kim for HI-01 (Honolulu) – was HI Sen
  • Kaniela Ing for HI-01 (Honolulu) – now HI Rep
  • Beth Fukumoto considering – received many racist attacks converting away from GOP
  • Dr. Mai-Khanh Tran for CA-39 (Orange Cty) – vs pro-Trump Rep. Ed Royce, @DocTran2018
  • Andrew “Andy” Kim for NJ-03 (Ocean, Burlington) – @RISE_Stronger’s founder, vs TrumpCare author Tom MacArthur whose viral video of being ripped apart weakened him, @AndyKimNJ
  • Theresa Mah re-for IL Assembly HD2 (Chicago) – @TeresaMah
  • Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz for IL Assembly HD17 (Glenview, Highland Pk) – @jhg1969, @hgershowitz
  • Gina Ortiz Jones for TX-23 (SAT) – endorsed, @GinaOrtizJones
  • Betty Yee for CA Treasurer – @BettyYeeforCA, @CAController
  • Rep. Ted Lieu re-for CA-33 (LA W: Malibu, Santa Monica, Torrance, Verdes) – endorsed, @RepTedLieu, @TedLieu
  • Rep. Grace Meng re-for NY-06 (Queens: Flushing, Rego Park, Kissena, Murray Hill, Bayside) – endorsed, @RepGraceMeng, @Grace4NY
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal re-for WA-07 (Seattle, Vashon, Lynnwood) – endorsed, @RepJayapal, @PramilaJayapal
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono re-for US Senate (HI) – endorsed, @SenMazieHirono, @MazieHirono, @MazieforHawaii
  • Dan Arrigg Koh for MA-03 (Lowell) – @KohForCongress, @DanK
  • Abhijit “Beej” Das for MA-03 (Lowell) – @BeejDas, @Beej2018
  • Aruna Miller for MD-06 (Allegany, Garrett, Washington) – Indian, current MD Delegate D15 (Montgomery Cty), @ArunaMiller
  • Mona Das for WA-08 (King E, Pierce) – @MonaDas
  • Andrew Janz for CA-22 (Fresno) – @JanzforCongress
  • Lily Qi for Maryland House of Delegates D15 (Montgomery) – Hamza Khan might run also, @LilyQiMaryland
  • Dr. Hiral Tipirneni for AZ-08 (Sun City W, Surprise, Peoria, Goodyear, New River) – Indian, @hiral4congress
  • Anita Malik for AZ-06 (PHX NE, Scottsdale, Desert View, Deer Valley, McDowell, Carefree, Fountain Hills) – Indian, @AnitaMalik, @anita9218
  • Sam Park for GA House HD101 (Gwinnett, Larenceville) – openly gay, @SamforGeorgia
  • Jacky Rosen for US Senate (NV) – @RosenforNevada, @RepJackyRosen
  • Stephanie Chang for MI State Senate – current State Rep., @stephanielily @stephaniechang6
  • Tina Maharath for OH State Senate D3 (Sandusky, Seneca) – Laotian, @TinaMaharath
  • Gov. David Ige for HI Gov. – vs @ColleenHanabusa; @GovHawaii, @GovDavidIge
  • Lindy Li for PA-01 (Philadelphia Cty, Delaware Cty) – impressive 2016 campaign ended only due to technical error in that safely GOP PA-06 (Bucks, Lebanon, Chester), @LindyLi
  • Krish Vignarajah for MD Gov. – @KrishForMD
  • Sachin Varghese for GA State HD89 (ATL E: Kirkwood, Edgewood, Gresham Park, Constitution), @sachin_varghese
  • David Kim for GA-07 (Gwinett) – @DavidKim2018
  • Ethan Pham for GA-07 (Gwinett) – @VoteEthanPham
  • Jane Kim? – now SF Supervisor District 6, narrow defeat in same in 2016, @JaneKim

2020 – unknowns thusfar

  • Helen Gym re-for Philadelphia Councilmember at-Large – endorsed in 2015, @HelenGymAtLarge, @HelenGym2015 (active)
  • David Oh re-for Philadelphia Councilmember at-Large, @DavidOhPhilly, @CouncilmanOh


  • I’m moving all this into a master list of candidates
  • WikiPedia had our endorsed candidates, will restore to our site
  • our Twitter list of candidates is incomplete; also read #MyAAPIVote, #OurAAPIVoice
  • allies @RunAAPI, @AAPIVC, @APIAVote, @18mr, et al. did heroic parallel work this election

Victory for our community.

AAAFund Outraged by Racist Mailers in Edison, NJ Calling for Deportation of AAPI Candidates

Supports investigation into creator of hate mail

The board of the Asian American Action Fund (www.aaafund.org) is outraged by recent political mailers that have gone out in Edison, NJ calling for the deportation of Asian American school board candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel. There is no place for this type of xenophobic, exclusionary discourse in politics and civic life. It also implies that the way to “Make Edison Great Again” is through their deportation – the deportation of US born citizens.

Asian Americans have been an active part of the social fabric in Edison, where former mayor Jun Choi, a Korean American, made history in 2006 as the youngest, and the first Asian American mayor of New Jersey’s fifth largest municipality. The Asian American Action Fund was proud to support Jun Choi’s candidacy back then, and we are proud of Mr. Shi and Ms. Patel for seeking to participate in the most American of activities by running for school board. Almost half of Edison’s population is Asian American.

The people and the committee behind this mailer are cowardly for choosing to leave their name off the mailer, and the Asian American Action Fund calls for an investigation into who funded and printed the mailer, which is the lowest type of hate speech.


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