By Ed Diokno
A funny thing happened on the way to Congress. A little more than three months before Pennsylvania is scheduled to hold its primary election, energetic congressional candidate Lindy Li, who has amassed a pretty hefty campaign chest, decided to switch districts in which she will run.
This strategy would be risky for a weaker candidate, but Li might be putting herself in a better position for a victory if she could overcome the carpet-bagger accusations that are sure to come.
RELATED: Chinese American 20-something vies to be youngest woman ever to serve in Congress
In the 7th Congressional District near Philadelphia, where she originally intended to run, she would have had to compete in a hotly contested primary with two other Democratic candidates and then face a 3-term Republican incumbent. In the 6th district, where she was born and where her parents still reside, the Democratic challenger Mike Parrish, an army vet and businessman, has raised only $26,445 for his primary campaign. In contrast, Li has amassed $250,000.
This is the first political campaign for the former financial analyst with Morgan Stanley. Li told NBC News
that local and state party leadership, which she said originally encouraged her to run in the 7th District, had asked her to switch to the neighboring 6th District where she grew up. If she wins the 6th District primary, she will face a first-term Republican incumbent.
If successful, the 25-year old Li would become the youngest member of Congress.
Li got a big boost when three veteran Asian American Congressmembers endorsed her candidacy. Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Mike Honda (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) are lending their support to her.
“I am incredibly honored to have the support of these outstanding community leaders and will continue to work hard to build a bottom-up grassroots campaign that addresses the concerns of all citizens in Pennsylvania’s 6th,” Li said in a statement.
“Lindy Li is an impressive woman,” said Honda. “Her personal story and knowledge of the issues facing working families, along with her enthusiasm and work ethic, will serve the people of Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District well.”
Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
(AsAmNews is an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter and sharing our stories.)